TWELVE people have been arrested for their part in a "go-slow" protest on the M4 earlier today, Monday, over the rising cost of fuel.

Protesters travelled in small groups, slowing down traffic by blocking lanes on and around the Prince of Wales Bridge.

More protesters carried out disruptions on the M5 near Bristol.

Police were told in advance of the planned protests and said they had worked for two weeks to limit the impact on the emergency services and other road users.

Part of a pre-served legal notice prohibited the Prince of Wales Bridge from being blocked and prohibited protestors from driving under 30mph, Gwent Police said.

But by 10.45am, a dozen people had been arrested for breaching this legal notice - the force said protesters had driven below 30mph "for a prolonged amount of time".

LIVE UPDATES: 'Arrests made' as fuel price protesters disrupt M4 traffic

Chief superintendent Tom Harding, of Gwent Police, said the force was "aware of other driving offences, not connected to the protest, such as the use of a mobile phone whilst driving".

These offences would be "dealt with appropriately", he added.

Some protesters met at Magor Services on Monday morning before setting off towards the bridge, and other groups travelled westbound to slow down traffic heading into Wales.

One protester was Vicky Stamper, a former HGV driver from Cwmbran who said she and her partner had to leave jobs in Bristol because they could not afford the fuel any longer.

“It was costing us £380 a week just to get to and from work," she said.

“I then lost a job two weeks ago because the company couldn’t afford to put fuel in that many lorries so, last in first out.”

Ms Stamper said the situation had taken an emotional toll on her and her family.

Talking about the disruption that the protest will cause to drivers on the M4, Ms Stamper added: “We’re doing this for us and for them. If they want to have a moan, they should join us instead.”

The Prince of Wales Bridge was closed temporarily in the mid-morning for traffic management, and at one stage westbound traffic was being rerouted at junction 23 for Rogiet.

The bridge was reopened in both directions by around midday.