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Fuel crisis: Things will return to normal in the coming days, says AA chief

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27/09/2021
Petrol companies are restocking forecourts and things will go back to normal within the coming days, the president of the AA, Edmund King, has said.

There were chaotic scenes over the weekend as motorists flocked to petrol stations to fill up their tanks amid concerns of fuel shortages and forecourts closing due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

However, King said there was no need for people to panic-buy.

“For the vast majority of drivers there is no need to rush to the pumps, and we urge people to only fill up when essential. There is no need to top up ‘just in case’.

“Millions of drivers changed their refuelling habits this weekend, but once a tank is full it can’t be topped up. This short-term increase in demand should slow and allow forecourts time to restock. We anticipate things will return to normal within the coming days,” he said.

King added that the chaos in the past few days had led to a rise in people misfuelling.

“Drivers need to be careful because this weekend we have seen a dramatic rise in misfuelling (putting in the wrong fuel) compared to last weekend. This in turn unnecessarily reduces the fuel available as the whole tank has to be drained before refilling with the correct fuel.”

Last night, the government announced plans to temporarily exempt fuel companies from competition law in order to help supplies reach the forecourts most in need.

Officials hope the move will make it easier for companies to share information and prioritise fuel delivery.

It come as The Petrol Retailers Association warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets reported they had sold out of fuel.

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