UK - PANIC BUYING AT THE PUMPS : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Panic buying of petrol has been causing new shortages at the pump.

As fears grew of a return to the drastic shortages caused by the September blockades motorists rushed to petrol stations across the country to fill up their tanks.

Fuel companies are blaming the increasing demand on the threat of fuel blockades, flooding, and chaos on the railways.

Anxiety - They have also accused the Government of fuelling the panic with "macho" promises to not bow under any future pressure.

Director of the Petrol Retailers Association, Ray Holloway, said the Government were, "talking up anxiety. I would have to interpret some of the comments to be quite deliberate in raising anxiety levels in the public mind.

"It is a macho message that the Government are not going to bend that they want to endorse."

Home Secretary Jack Straw has since outlined a battle plan to deal with any new blockades, saying Army drivers will operate tankers and protesting hauliers will be stripped of operating licences.

Straw - ready for action Long queues, pumps empty

But panic buying only worsened after the announcement. Around the country and particularly in parts of London, long queues re-emerged at many petrol stations, while some ran out of fuel.

The new petrol woe comes as an exclusive Sky News Online poll shows the public, which last time appeared to support fuel blockades, is not so keen for a repeat. Just over half of those who have voted so far do not back the protesters.

'Don't panic' - Sales of petrol cans are up

The protestersB 60-day deadline to cut fuel tax ends on November 13th, when they are threatening a new wave of action.

David Handley, chairman of the People's Fuel Lobby, promised there would be no blockade of refineries.

"Do not either panic buy fuel or stockpile fuel. We will not be going to the refineries. We have been there, we have done that."

Despite his pledge he refused to call off the convoy of hundreds of lorries from Tyneside to London planned as a modern day 'Jarrow Crusade'.

Panic - Petrol companies also urged motorists not to stockpile, but said the shortages could also be explained by the bad weather and rail problems.

An ESSO spokesman said: "We would urge motorists not to panic buy fuel. Clearly as a result of high demand, some service stations may have run out of stock of particular grades, whilst awaiting their next delivery."

The Conservatives accused the Government of "stoking up the crisis". Tory leader William Hague said it was creating "a climate of anxiety".

-- Doris (, November 03, 2000


Yes, when deadlines are set, panics develop....a long, time tested axiom.

-- R2D2 (, November 03, 2000.

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