Petrol prices have gone crazy, motorists paying £1.50 a liter of petrol while shortages continue to hit half the nation’s forecourts.
Fuel companies declared that supply problems which are caused by panic-buying will continue until Friday, March 6th.
‘Motorists are paying a significant premium because the wholesalers know they are on to a good thing. It’s the law of supply and demand,’ said Brian Madderson of the Retail Motor Industry Federation. ‘The withdrawal of fuel in such a frenzy in the mid part of last week means some members won’t be getting any fuel until later this week.’
If ministers were advising motorists to top up before fuel tank drivers go on a possible strike, now advise them to drive more slowly.
‘There is no urgency to top up your tank, a strike will not happen over Easter. Stick to speed limits as this helps conserve fuel.’
Rumors say that suppliers are diverting fuel to supermarkets and petrol stations on main routes, leaving rural and independent garages short of fuel. On Sunday almost half of the independent filling stations ran out of fuel.
One Jet garage owner in the Midlands said: ‘I’m having to put the price up on unleaded petrol from 137.9p per litre to 147.9p per litre and will still be making under 4p gross margin.’
A high-level ministerial meeting on the fuel crisis will be held tomorrow, March 4th, Mr Davey being in charge instead of Mr Maude, who chaired similar meetings last week and sparked the panic-buying.