Misery at the pumps as eco-mob’s fuel stunt causes massive queues at petrol stations

11 April 2022, 12:16 | Updated: 11 April 2022, 13:40

Drivers have been struggling to fill up their tanks after climate change protests
Drivers have been struggling to fill up their tanks after climate change protests. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Drivers in parts of Britain are complaining of "massive queues" at petrol stations as they struggle to find petrol and diesel amid the latest wave of climate protests.

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The shortage has been sparked by days of protests by Just Stop Oil campaigners who have been blocked major oil terminals across the nation.

This has added to already challenging supply issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Drivers took to social media to express their concerns on Monday morning.

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One person in Norfolk complained of "massive queues" at a Tesco petrol station "winding around the car park".

"As if we haven't got enough things to worry about," she said.

Another wrote on Twitter: "I am a driving instructor, prevented working during the pandemic, rising fuel costs, energy costs and now shortage of petrol. I have a mortgage to pay and am being prevented from working. Stress levels are through the roof."

A petrol station runs dry in Bristol
A petrol station runs dry in Bristol. Picture: Alamy

"Can't seem to find one petrol station that I can fuel at," one person added.

Another said: "I had to drive to see my kids with barely enough fuel. Normal station close to departure empty, normal one at destination also empty. Found solitary pump at premium price just in time."

According to Campaign for Fair Fuel as many as one in three petrol stations in southern England were forced to close yesterday as an estimated 1,200 pumps ran dry.

Environment Secretary says Just Stop Oil protests are not needed

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has urged people to continue buying fuel as normal.

A spokesperson said: “All fuel supply points are fully operational and we are working closely with industry to ensure that supplies are maintained. The public should continue to purchase fuel as normal.”

Eighty activists blocked oil terminals in Hertfordshire, Essex and Warwickshire on Sunday morning.

No fuel at an Isle of Sheppey petrol station in Kent
No fuel at an Isle of Sheppey petrol station in Kent. Picture: Alamy

Mass protests last week reportedly saw over 800 arrests across the country, including 338 in Essex, as police claim campaigners are putting "lives at risk".

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin of Essex Police said: "We cannot stand by while criminal acts are being committed, and lives are being put at risk, in the name of protest.

"We are not anti-protest. Our job is to preserve life and catch criminals, and that's what we're going to do."

Just Stop Oil activist glues his hand to the microphone

The force has said that policing protests in Thurrock had cost Essex Police "in excess of £1 million".

These "protests continue to impact the people of Essex and beyond", he said.

Warwickshire Police said a further 29 arrests have been made this weekend in connection with ongoing protests at Kingsbury Oil Terminal.

Those in custody have been arrested for offences including criminal damage, conspiracy to cause criminal damage and conspiracy to commit public nuisance in what Assistant Chief Constable Ben Smith described as "another busy weekend" for the force.

This takes the total number of arrests to 180 since the protests began on April 1.