Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's 1am and There's a Long Queue for Petrol on the A13

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's 1am and There's a Long Queue for Petrol on the A13

Article excerpt


PETROL stations were running dry today as drivers resorted to panic buying.

Motorists nervous about shortages later in the week queued up to fill their tanks. More than two in 10 fuel stations across the country were on the brink of having their supplies exhausted.

Fuel suppliers said they were struggling to cope with a week's demand in one day. The UK Petroleum Industry Association - which represents firms such as Shell, BP, Esso and Total - called for calm, as tankers had been increased by 10 to 15 per cent.

In London, the panic was not as widespread. Fewer than one in 10 petrol stations were under threat of running dry, as most motorists remained calm.

Esso in Mount Avenue, Shenfield, ran out of diesel and petrol last night.

Shell in Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, had run out of diesel this morning. Others running out were Shell in Hornsey Rise, Esso in Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, two Total garages in Stratford High Road and a Jet garage in Edmonton.

Fuel Lobby protesters had given ministers until today to meet them or face three days of demonstrations over prices, starting tomorrow. But Chancellor Gordon Brown used a keynote speech to the TUC to point the finger of blame at oil exporting countries. Effectively ruling out a cut in petrol duty at home, he insisted the answer to high oil prices could only be found abroad. "Global challenges need global solutions," he said, pointing out that world barrel prices had doubled in 18 months.

"It is because we understand the problems faced by hauliers, farmers and motorists at a time of doubling oil prices, and because we will never be complacent that the first action we must take is to tackle the cause of the problem - ensuring concerted global action is taken to bring down world oil prices and stabilise the market."

Mr Brown said the root of the problem was rising demand for world oil outstripping supply. He called on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to raise supplies and open their records of reserves to scrutiny. …

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