Cheap meals for half-full tanks and stuck buses: UK fuel crisis begins to bite
From football taunts to green bins filling up: how the country is reacting as petrol pump shortages begin to hit home
- Fuel crisis – live updates
First published on Wed 29 Sep 2021 09.42 EDT
While ministers are desperate for any signs of improvement to fuel supplies, the crisis continues to widen. Beyond the petrol forecourts, the situation is touching more and more aspects of everyday life, from bus services to bin collections and beyond into football terrace chants. And as the army is being trained to deliver fuel supplies, one pub is offering meal deals to stop panic-buying.
Here are some of the latest developments in the crisis:
A pub in Cheshire is offering discount meals to customers who can prove they have not been panic-buying fuel. The Riverside Inn in Northwich is offering meal deals to customers who can show they have less than half a tank of fuel in their vehicles. “Prove to us you’re not part of the problem and we’ll give you 20% off your food bill,” the pub’s Facebook page promised.
The national lorry driver shortage has forced Peterborough city council to suspend garden waste collections until next year. The council said it has been left with no option but to cut the service despite offering existing drivers retention payments and training for new drivers. Meanwhile, Tanbridge district council in Surrey suspended garden waste collections on Wednesday due to the fuel crisis. It said they would resume on Thursday if staff were able to refuel.
Fire chiefs have warned residents in Berkshire about the danger of storing petrol at homes or in cars. Royal Berkshire fire and rescue pointed out that “petrol and other fuels give off vapours that are highly flammable”. It also reminded the public that it is illegal to store more than 30 litres of petrol at home without permission. “Any storage place should be well away from living areas and be secured to protect against the possibility of vandalism or arson,” it said. The National Fire Chiefs Council warned the public against hoarding any fuel indoors.
Fans of Woking football team found a new fuel-related way to taunt rival Chesterfield fans. As the Surrey side won 3-1 on Tuesday night, the visitors from Derbyshire were greeted with chants of “what a waste of petrol”. Dozens of non-league fixtures were postponed because of fuel shortages.
A bus service was unable to reach a village in Sussex because of a petrol queue. Metrobus said its route 20 buses to Pease Pottage could not reach the village due to queueing traffic at the local petrol station. Meanwhile, the bus company Stagecoach announced delays and cancellation to services in Liverpool, Corby and Leamington due to driver shortages. In a tweet to passengers, it said: “Whilst we are continuing to operate the vast majority of our services as normal, some journeys are being affected by staff shortages.
Police in Ashford in Kent warned that fuel shortages and increased prices imposed by suppliers could lead to an increase in fuel thefts. Drivers were advised to keep cars in garages where possible or park them in a well-lit area. It also urged drivers to consider investing in fuel-cap locks and anti-siphon devices.
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