Drivers urged not to panic buy

  • Almost 500 fuel stations could run out this weekend
  • Supply lines stuggling to get fuel to fuel forecourts
  • Drivers urged to half-fill their tanks

Motorists are being urged not to panic buy after the Independent Petrol Retailers Association said that around 500 filling stations of the 9,000 in the UK could be without fuel this weekend.

The freezing conditions have disrupted the supply line to forecourts particularly in the east side of the country.

The cold weather has also stopped tankers at Total SA's Lindsey refinery and ConocoPhillips' Killingholme plant both in the north east of England. Refinery terminals in Grangemouth, Falkirk and Coryton are also struggling to get tankers out and are at least two days behind normal delivery schedules.

Brian Madderson, chairman of RMI Petrol, said in a statement. "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."

He added: "Every hour that passes, the fuel crisis is intensifying. By the weekend, tens of thousands of motorists could have no fuel to go about their daily lives, whether it be getting to work, taking the kids to school or doing the weekly shop."

But the AA urged motorists to avoid panic buying.

Spokesman Paul Watters said: "Although the AA advises drivers to try to reserve half a tank on roads where they may run into snow-bound traffic, there is absolutely no need to panic buy. Self-fulfilling prophecies of fuel shortages really are the last thing we need."