PANIC-BUYERS LEAVE PUMPS DRY
Tanker strikers hold out in Kingsbury, Warwickshire
Thursday January 26,2012
By Dana Gloger, Consumer Affairs Editor
PETROL and diesel prices soared towards £8 a gallon yesterday as panic-buying motorists and lack of supplies sparked shortages.
One garage last night was already charging 173.9p per litre for diesel – £7.91 a gallon. A “toxic combination” of factors was blamed for some garages running short of supplies.
The crisis follows the closure of the giant Coryton oil refinery in Essex, an EU embargo on Iranian oil and a week-long strike over pay by around 100 fuel tanker drivers, threatening fuel supplies to 381 Jet forecourts.
Long queues could be seen at filling stations as drivers tried to stock up. At least one garage in Trumpington, near the M11 in Cambridgeshire, was understood to have run dry. Others, including a filling station at Start Hill near Stansted Airport, had pumps out of use because of panic buying.
The 173.9p a litre diesel price – 31.7p more than the national average – was charged at a garage in Chelsea, west London. Peter Carroll from campaign group FairFuelUK called it “completely ridiculous and blatant over pricing”.
At least one garage in Trumpington, near the M11 in Cambridgeshire, was understood to have run dry.
Brian Maddison, of RMI Petrol, which represents independent forecourts, said he expects the previous record average for diesel – 143.0p per litre in May – to be broken next week.
He said: “Prices on the wholesale market are already up 0.4 pence, or 0.5 pence with VAT added.”
Mr Carroll and delegates from FairFuelUK met MPs yesterday and called for fuel tax to be reduced.
The Daily Express has called for fuel duty to be cut as part of its Stop the Petrol Tax Robbery crusade
Tanker strikers hold out in Kingsbury, Warwickshire, and empty pumps at Tesco in Chelmsford, Essex, yesterday