Fuel shortages ‘an issue’ as protests at oil depots continue

Pressure group FairFuelUK said shortages are particularly affecting southern England.

12 April 2022

Petrol and diesel shortages are “an issue” and some filling stations are “drying up”, according to a fuel price pressure group.

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, said a third of its supporters who responded to a survey last weekend said they have encountered a “problem” finding fuel.

The shortages have been attributed to disruption by Just Stop Oil protesters at oil depots.

Mr Cox told the PA news agency: “Some garages are now really drying up.

“It’s very patchy, it’s sporadic but it’s still an issue, particularly in the South.

“Most of the protests are happening below the Midlands and in the Home Counties, and that’s where we’re seeing some of the problems.

An empty fuel station in Ashford, Kent
An empty fuel station in Ashford, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Above the Midlands in the North, in Scotland and Northern Ireland there’s no problems whatsoever.

“Their garages are full of fuel.”

Demand for fuel is likely to increase ahead of the Easter getaway.

The RAC estimates some 21.5 million leisure trips will be made by car between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

This is the second week of protests at oil terminals by Just Stop Oil.

The group are demanding that the Government stops new fossil fuel projects.

Essex Police have arrested more than 350 protesters since the disruption started on April 1.

Activists were locked on to pipework at a terminal in Grays, Essex, on Monday.

Warwickshire Police said they made 34 arrests over the weekend linked to protests at the Kingsbury oil terminal, where protesters have tunnelled under a major access route.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said: “The Government can end the queues and closures at petrol station forecourts immediately, ahead of the Easter holidays, by committing to halt all new oil licences and consents.

“Ministers have a choice: they can arrest and imprison Just Stop Oil supporters or agree to no new oil and gas.

“While Just Stop Oil supporters have their liberty the disruption will continue. Now is the moment to come and meet with the coalition.”

On Monday, Downing Street condemned the “guerrilla tactics” used to target oil supplies.

Mr Cox said he supported Labour’s call for the Government to seek an immediate, nationwide injunction to stop the protests.

He also wants “more police” at the sites to keep the fuel supply chain “secure and protected”.

Many forecourts ran empty in September last year due to panic buying of fuel linked to a shortage of lorry drivers.

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