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Fuel

Around the Country

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What's the fuel availability position around the country ?

Apparently, there's still a "crisis" (a much overused word) but, whilst petrol stations are busy, there are no queues out onto the road.  Yesterday, I was limited to a £35 spend (about 25 litres) at a garage just off the A1 but I was able to drive straight up to the pump and fill up.

Last Friday, I was in a queue but there was only one car in front of me.

No stations seem to be shut, though some seem to be short of diesel.

Ironically, the £35 limit just makes me visit the petrol station more often, so is counterproductive in terms of preventing queues but it prevents folk with gas-guzzling cars sucking all the fuel out of the tanks, I suppose.

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By Paul Crowley
02nd Oct 2021 12:05

Would be a good idea to make a minimum charge of £35 to stop the pointless refills and filling fuel cans.
The limit is common but £30 around here

There never was a shortage of fuel and the "crisis" was a media event that resulted in all cars with an average half tank ending up with a full tank
They will all be back to half tank again in very little time

The Road Haulage Association caused the problem by talking to the media. At the time there were only 2 petrol stations that were dry (or so I hear) but BP had concerns

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
RLI
By lionofludesch
02nd Oct 2021 14:12

Paul Crowley wrote:

Would be a good idea to make a minimum charge of £35 to stop the pointless refills and filling fuel cans.

Queues aren't the problem here, though.

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By jwgrogan
02nd Oct 2021 12:50

It's still pretty bad in London. Lots of petrol stations routinely closed which then spring into action with 40/50 car queues for a few hours when a delivery arrives before running dry again. Often see half a dozen cars queueing in hope outside a closed garage.

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Replying to jwgrogan:
AS
By AS
04th Oct 2021 17:28

The situation in London has not changed. The queues in the few stations that have fuel for a few hours are causing massive traffic jams.

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Replying to AS:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 17:35

AS wrote:

The situation in London has not changed. The queues in the few stations that have fuel for a few hours are causing massive traffic jams.

It seems to have gone away in Yorkshire. No cap at at least two stations, according to recent reports.

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By paulwakefield1
02nd Oct 2021 13:07

Our 85 year old neighbour only has a few miles of fuel left in his car and can not afford to drive around on spec or have an abortive trip.

I rode around the 6 nearest fuel stations to us to research it for him this morning. 4 had no fuel at all, one had petrol but no diesel and a massive queue and the last, a motorway service station, did have fuel although very short of diesel and quite a queue.

So not too good around us.

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By Justin Bryant
02nd Oct 2021 13:31

London & SE is still bad, if not worse, per this story today: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/58772169

I suspect that the conversion of many petrol stations to residential flats over the past 15 years in this region has probably contributed to the problem. I read that some London boroughs now have only two filling stations!

It seems people are driving a bit less and even more slowly to save fuel in my area in SW London at least.

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Tornado
By Tornado
02nd Oct 2021 13:27

The situation in the South East is still dire with the filling stations that do not have queues being the ones that have no fuel to sell. Judging by the filling station down the road, long queues start forming in both directions a couple of minutes after a tanker arrives and I believe this is due to some sort of Social Media grape vine that spots new deliveries almost before they arrive.

One client did admit to me that he and his wife will regularly top up with £10 or £15 to keep the tanks full which seems a bit over the top to me, but the fear of having no fuel is a strong incentive for some to act unusually.

I will need to fill up again soon and will probably join the queue at Tesco's after midnight again to do this at the 24 hour pay at pumps, as the wait will only be about half an hour.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By paulwakefield1
02nd Oct 2021 13:36

If Tesco's still has fuel ;-)

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
Tornado
By Tornado
02nd Oct 2021 13:48

Indeed, but I think Tesco has its own distribution system and probably has enough drivers and fuel anyway, but who knows in these very strange times.

Off to look at electric cars next week, solar panels for the roof and a wind turbine strapped to the chimney stack for added security. I might also drive a dozen or so holes 600 feet down in the garden for some free hot water from the ground.

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Replying to Tornado:
By Paul D Utherone
04th Oct 2021 10:02

The queue to the charger on my drive was horrendous on Saturday evening, but once the cat had deigned to move, all was fine :)

Sorry I am currently in insufferably smug mode with my EV :D

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Replying to Paul D Utherone:
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By Leywood
04th Oct 2021 11:32

Just wait until we are back on candle power like in the 70s!

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Replying to Leywood:
By Paul D Utherone
04th Oct 2021 11:55

Solar panels & battery storage, or maybe planning permission for a windmill on the roof :)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
02nd Oct 2021 15:58

Its dire here, semi-rural home counties. Anything with fuel is lasting 24 hours at best.

I live in a village with some amenities, but all the new housing (and boy is there lots of new houses) is 100% car so you either use your car or stay at home other than for local walks.

Remember lots of people usually only top up £10 a time - but from the red light. Now all those tanks are trying to get full and stay full, and at the same time the actual supply has not really increased this week to the week before or the week before that so I cant see this ending any time soon in our area at least.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Leywood
02nd Oct 2021 18:15

My Dad always taught me never to leave it until you get to the red light because you will be bringing up all the sludge that lies in the bottom of the fuel tank. Probably truer in his day, but still a good lesson not to leave it until it’s dire.

Not a problem here, north of England. Plus son has just travelled down to Hampshire and then back north via West Country and not experienced any problems on motorways, A roads nor in small villages, other than a £30 restriction in some places.

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Replying to Leywood:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
04th Oct 2021 10:38

Leywood wrote:

My Dad always taught me never to leave it until you get to the red light because you will be bringing up all the sludge that lies in the bottom of the fuel tank.


I believe that is something of a myth. More accurately, it is correct but for completely the opposite reason. Given that most cars have a single feed from the tank which must, by necessity, be at the bottom of the tank you're going to suck up at least some of whatever crud is there regardless of how full the tank is. (Although, by definition, if all that you have left is crud then all you are going to suck up is crud.) The issue is more to do with stuff floating at the top, or near the top, of the fuel. Keeping the tank full keeps that material away from the engine.

Remember also that most cars these days should have a pretty efficient filter system - the worst that should happen is that the filter gets clogged over time, but shouldn't be a particularly troublesome matter.

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By Bobbo
04th Oct 2021 08:39

Down on the south coast it got a little desperate for me. On Saturday morning I did a reconnaissance mission by bicycle and determined one local petrol station was open. But when I went back there in the car it was closed. As I was out I drove around five others in my city, also all closed. Car was now proudly displaying zero miles of range left.

Did another bicycle recon mission last night and determined the Asda was open (apparently they've been opening overnight only). Short queue and filled up with 44.56 litres put into my car's 45 litre tank.

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By mbee1
04th Oct 2021 08:52

North Midlands here and doesn't seem to be a problem. No queues at the filling stations I passed yesterday although I did hear that ASDA had a £35 limit.

Problem does appear to be London and the South East but then they do have far better public transport so easier to get around anyway I would have thought.

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Replying to mbee1:
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By paulwakefield1
04th Oct 2021 10:17

No fuel around here at the moment (an no public transport either).

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By Duggimon
04th Oct 2021 09:37

The garage along the road from me ran out of unleaded but not diesel last weekend, they got restocked last Monday though and haven't run out since. I've not seen any queues outside any petrol stations at any point. I'm in the west of Scotland near Glasgow.

Haven't checked any other garages for stock levels, I haven't needed to fill up until today, my local BP is the one I can see the pumps on my drive to work and there's not been a wee yellow tag on any of them since over a week ago.

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Replying to Duggimon:
Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
04th Oct 2021 11:16

Another West of Scotlander here and I've had no problems either. I stay around the corner from a petrol station and can't say I noticed any queuing last week .

It's these soft southerners flapping again :P

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Replying to Lone_Wolf:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
04th Oct 2021 12:46

Indeed. Up in t'North our local filling station has been noticably busier but no queues as such and no shortage of fuel at all. I did look queringly at a Porsche driver the other day filling 3 petrol cans. He saw my look and explained that he was driving down south and was worried about not being able to fill up to get home. Fair enough, I thought, but then how far does a Porsche get on 3 small jerry cans?

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 12:58

Wilson Philips wrote:

Indeed. Up in t'North our local filling station has been noticably busier but no queues as such and no shortage of fuel at all. I did look queringly at a Porsche driver the other day filling 3 petrol cans. He saw my look and explained that he was driving down south and was worried about not being able to fill up to get home. Fair enough, I thought, but then how far does a Porsche get on 3 small jerry cans?

Doh !

You can only carry 30 litres legally, in a maximum of two approved canisters.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
04th Oct 2021 13:56

Since when did Porsche drivers care about driving legalities?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 10:05

I didn't need any petrol today as I've only done about 120 miles since the last fill up, but the stations I passed had folk cheerfully filling up with pumps spare. Couldn't see if there was a cap, though.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 10:12

Wagon drivers get a terrible deal in terms of working conditions. Off the motorways, places to stop, get a meal, have a pee or whatever are few and far between. The law says they have to have a break every so often - where do they stop ? The old fashioned transport cafe has gone.

No wonder nobody wants to drive a wagon any more.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
04th Oct 2021 11:30

Feeling smug....... no issues here in France - would you like me to post some?

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Replying to accountantccole:
By Paul D Utherone
04th Oct 2021 15:53

As am I with an EV ;)

I had to laugh at the news report of the occupants of a queue of 20 cars that had been tailing a tanker losing their collective rags when he turned into the building site to deliver the cement he was carrying - quoth the queue "why didn't you stop and tell us you weren't carrying fuel!?" :D

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Replying to Paul D Utherone:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 16:12

Paul D Utherone wrote:

As am I with an EV ;)

I had to laugh at the news report of the occupants of a queue of 20 cars that had been tailing a tanker losing their collective rags when he turned into the building site to deliver the cement he was carrying - quoth the queue "why didn't you stop and tell us you weren't carrying fuel!?" :D

Oh aye!

I was telling Mrs Lion about it earlier.

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By Mr_awol
04th Oct 2021 11:44

There are about ten petrol stations within five miles of home. The default position is that they are all out of fuel, but every now and then one or more of them gets a delivery and the fuel lasts 2-3 hours before it goes. Doesnt bother me as by happy coincidence all my cars were over 3/4 full before the shortage (no it wasnt me that caused it) so ive only had to put anything in one of them and the wife put £40 in that at the weekend.

At a push i could probably go 4-6 weeks without 'needing' fuel and im sure it will be resolved well before then.

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By jwgrogan
04th Oct 2021 13:00

N.B. Not much point in people telling us what their situation is locally unless they also tell us where they are!

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Replying to jwgrogan:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Oct 2021 13:17

jwgrogan wrote:

N.B. Not much point in people telling us what their situation is locally unless they also tell us where they are!

No.

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By Dib
05th Oct 2021 13:00

It really does seem to be a north/south divide from my experience this weekend. Had to take youngest son to London (Imperial College) to start his degree studies. Set off from home just south of the Humber, drove to nearby town and filled up with diesel - no queues and all grades of fuel available. Drove down to London mainly down the A1. Fuel stations along the way seemed to have fuel until we passed the M25 when things started to get a bit more patchy. In London itself virtually every filling station we passed was out of fuel completely or had long queues and were missing either diesel or petrol. We went back via Birmingham to see our daughter. Some small queues at some filling stations but all seemed to have fuel. Drove to Leicester to have dinner with a friend and stay overnight. No queues and no shortages of fuel.

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