UK Fuel Crisis Deepening by the Hour

Old Sep 12th, 2000, 10:21 AM
Beth Anderson
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I spoke to a friend of mine this morning in London - he said that he has a diesel Mercedes and isn't affected by this problem. he seemed to think the taxis at least would be running as many of them use diesel.

Kav, rent a diesel car!

Old Sep 12th, 2000, 11:43 AM
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I'm scheduled to arrive in London for my honeymoon on Sept. 19th. I've booked this trip about a year ago and am very excited but to hear all this talk about the fuel shortage has really scared me. Anyone can offer me insight on this or am I worry for nothing? I've booked this trip with a tour company. What are my chances of enjoying London as this is my very first time in Europe.
Old Sep 12th, 2000, 11:54 AM
A local
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Beth, renting a diesel car will be of no use - shortages of diesel are rapidly catching up with those of petrol.

Huong, please don't worry too much if you're visit takes you only to London. You'll be able to get around just fine on the (electrically powered) tubes and trains. It's those unfortunate people on fly-drives (together withh UK residents outside the big cities) who will experience the greatest problems. There is no fuel at all now in my area, so we will try to get to work by train and by foot somehow tomorrow.
Old Sep 12th, 2000, 11:56 AM
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Tony, you may need your car to work, but you can bet 90% of those in the queue for petrol don't.
I didn't mean to suggest nobody ever needs to drive, just pointing out the hysteria induced in drivers when their
supply is threatened.
It will be interesting to see what happens when we really begin to run out of oil!
What do I do?Like the majority of people in the UK I don't drive.So it's not a problem for us.Perhaps we should all go off & kill ourselves..
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 12:41 AM
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Latest situation 8am Wednesday morning British time: Petrol protesters at the Stanlow refinery in Cheshire say the end is near as tankers began shifting supplies without the agreement of the pickets.

Hours before the UK was about to run dry, tankers began moving out of the refinery, where the protest began last Thursday. As the convoy swept through the gates under police escort shortly before 7.30am, protest spokesman Brynle Williams conceded: "It looks like the end's about to come."

None of the tankers which departed from gate two of the plant was displaying signs stating they were bound for the emergency services - the first time this has happened. The protesters said Shell's management at the plant had rejected requests for a meeting.

Last night five tankers left a refinery in Essex just two hours after Prime Minister Tony Blair promised the fuel situation would start getting back to normal.

Police guards sat alongside drivers in the cabs of the vehicles as they left Purfleet refinery and a police car also joined the convoy as it drove out of the site, which had been under siege since early on Monday.

In Nottingham drivers cleared both exits of the Total and Texaco depots in Colwick after police served blockading protesters with orders to move their vehicles but agreed to a compromise allowing the lorries to remain in place until 6am today.

A number of tankers began leaving from first light but only to supply important services such as local buses. Essex Police said they were expecting a "steady stream" of fuel tankers to leave the Esso terminal at Purfleet, the BP terminal and Coryton andother terminals in Essex.

A spokesman said 18 had left Essex terminals overnight - mainly Purfleet and Coryton - and police and drivers were preparing for further runs. Most of the fuel moved overnight is believed to have been destined for priority services.

A total of 15 lorries left the Milford Haven refinery in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Each of the lorries had been checked by protesters as to where they were going and what they contained, and the lorries, which all carried signs saying emergency services and road fuel essentials, were also checked as they left the exit of the Elf plant.
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 05:27 AM
A Local
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At least some petrol is now leaving the depots - for the benefit of the emergency services. It is reported that petrol will not be available to the general public until Saturday at the earliest, and that the situation will not return to normal for another 3 weeks.

Roads noticeably quieter this morning, trains busier. My employers have cancelled all non-essential business travel and are beginning to put those who live out of town on "special leave".

Only 10 percent of all the petrol stations in the country have any fuel left. Nothing at all in the North of England, Wales, the South West and the South Coast of England.

TV news here last night featured one US family on holiday in the Lake District - they are stranded in a remote village with no immediate prospect of being able to leave. Any other visitors out there with first hand experiences...? Maybe we can help.
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 11:36 AM
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Situation appears to be getting worse [Wed 8.30pm local time] Only very small number of tankers moving under police escort, Petrol reliant public transport coming to a halt [diesal supplies now also running dry including London taxis] also other public transport effected as staff cannot get to work, Health service on 'red alert' and emergency petrol supplies for doctors and nurses ambulances etc not getting though yet, blockades and slow moving lorries blocking many key roads in London this am with cars with fuel gridlocked and in chaos [although other roads less congested than normal as people conserve remaining fuel]. The political row is deepening and some concerns about food supply. I would not travel to London if my journey was not strictly necessary until it is clear that tankers are freely flowing out of depots [? will army be brought in to bust the blockade].
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 01:11 PM
Tony Hughes
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Fodors ate my posting!

Anyhow, I work within a couple of miles of Grangemouth refinery, one of the nine being blockaded/picketed etc and one tanker that got through was for the local supermarket - news got round fast and the police had to be deployed to manage the traffic. It was chaos - took me over half an hour to move the 150 yards to the pump but there were no restrictions on amount and you didnt have to be a doctor or whatever to get any so *some* is getting through.
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 03:30 PM
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well things are looking bad & i am getting very worried now,food like bread & milk are running out in most super markets all the petrol has gone & i dont know how i am going to get my family to gatwick for our holiday to greece on wed,car park is booked if i get the train does anyone know if i can get a refund from the car park opperators.
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 11:07 PM
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Thank you to all those that are keeping us posted here in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world regarding this crisis. I too am worried regarding the shortage of petrol. My husband and I have a trip planned to England at the end of the month and WE ARE RENTING A CAR! Keep us posted - it is very much appreciated. Thanks!
Old Sep 13th, 2000, 11:11 PM
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Two of the blockades have been called off in the last two hours. My guess is they will all be gone by nighttime. It will take ages for everything to be "normal" but I suspect that from Saturday fuel will be widely if not universally available.
Old Sep 14th, 2000, 02:22 AM
Nigel Doran
Posts: n/a or will keep you informed. will also help.

Without wanting to sound glib and detract from all those people who need fuel and from the serious situation regarding those whose health and wellbeing might be affected by fuel shortages, I have to say that it is quite wonderful to walk around London with clearer streets and clearer air. I truly believe many journeys made in Britain are not necessary, and would add that although our fuel taxes are high compared to the rest of Europe, our other taxes are lower.
Old Sep 14th, 2000, 09:55 PM
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We seem to have moved back from the brink of disaster and tankers now moving. Trvallers can I think now feel confident about food and essentail services, plus a reasonmable level of petrol driven public transport and certainly tubes and electric trainins running normally. May have some patchy problems getting petrol for hire cars in short term but guess that will be back to a semblance of normality by early next week. However there are warnings from protestors that if matter not resolved in 60 days action will be reinstated...

Old Sep 18th, 2000, 02:59 PM
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We were in the Republic of Ireland during the recent fuel crisis. The protest there consisted of a 6 am to midnight slow down and ferry closings on Friday, Sept 15. It made us mindful of the problem, but also allowed us to enjoy our holiday without the fear that the crisis would go on and on. Thank you, Ireland! The possibility of the fuel crisis reappearing is very worrisome. We heard many tales of woe--mostly from people in the UK who could not avoid being affected by the crisis. Apparently, some places in Britain the citizens were put in jeopardy without emergency services. How many out there have changed travel plans? It makes one wonder about overall economic effects. Wouldn't it have been better to protest for a short while and then take it to the voting booth? Just MHO!

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