Protests create temporary fuel shortages- drivers urged not to panic buy

The protests taking place outside major fuel depots which caused one company to report it had suspended terminal operations at 4 sites on Friday have continued into a fourth day.

Drivers in the South East are reporting shortages at forecourts due to the actions of the climate activists and Howard Cox, founder of the group FairFuelUK, called on ministers to take action now to “protect the supply of petrol and diesel to our garage forecourts” and avoid recreating the chaos of last autumn saying: “Don’t let panic buying take over again with those long unnecessary queues we saw last year when you failed to act.

Issues are not widespread

Demonstrators from the climate action groups Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil, have been blockading refinery access near London and Birmingham since Friday, preventing tanker trucks from leaving or entering.

FairFuelUK has reported being “bombarded” by messages informing them that forecourts across the UK were short of petrol and diesel because of the “narrow-minded” protestors with reports from drivers of fuel shortages in locations including Folkestone, Dover and Gillingham, in Kent.

However, petrol retailers insisted these issues were not widespread.

As many as 10 oil refineries were initially targeted on Friday but by Monday only the Esso West London Oil Terminal near Heathrow Airport was still being blocked, according to an Esso spokesman who said there had been no “significant” disruption.

New supplies soon

Simon Williams of the RAC, said: “We are aware that protests on Friday and Saturday at 10 fuel terminals in the South East and Midlands caused some disruption to planned deliveries.

“This included tanker drivers being prevented from leaving terminals to deliver fuel to forecourts and some damage to vehicles and property.

“We understand that operations are now back to normal which will mean forecourts will receive new supplies very soon.”