The bad weather is leading to “critical” shortages of petrol, it has been revealed. Some forecourts are already out of fuel and others could run out of petrol, and especially diesel, by the weekend, warned the Retail Motor Industry Independent Petrol Retailers Association (RMI Petrol).
Representing around two thirds of the 9,000 petrol forecourt sites in the UK, the association said its members across the east of the UK from Scotland down to Kent were seeing shortages at the pumps. Filling stations in rural areas away from the main trunk roads were most likely to see shortages, RMI Petrol said.
It added that road tankers have been unable to leave the main terminals from two refineries in south Humberside – the Total refinery at Lindsey and the Jet (Conoco) refinery at Killingholme.
This was “cutting the supply chain off at its knees”, and there are similar problems at the refinery terminals at Grangemouth, near Falkirk and at Coryton on the Thames in Essex.
RMI Petrol said fuel companies with facilities in the east of the country were reporting that they were at least two or three days behind normal delivery schedules already.
Brian Madderson, RMI Petrol chairman, said: “We are close to a critical point in what is fast becoming a fuel crisis as well as a weather crisis. Acute problems of supply, particularly of diesel, are being reported by our rural members in the north east of England and eastern Scotland.
“A number of filling stations are already reported to be out of fuel. The crisis is now spreading south as the weekend unfolds. Every hour that passes, the fuel crisis is intensifying.
“By the end of the weekend, tens of thousands of motorists could have no fuel.”
Commenting on the shortages, a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: “At present there are no significant disruptions to refinery or fuel distribution terminal activity.
“However, road conditions are challenging, which is creating logistical challenges for fuel supply to service stations in some areas – fuel supply companies are working hard to maintain supplies of road transport fuels but are facing challenging conditions in some parts of the country.
“Overall road transport demand should be low due to the weather conditions and the Government is urging motorists only to travel when necessary.”