Improving scenes at fuel stations around Northampton while some remain closed after days of chaos at the pumps

It seems to be an improving picture but there are still issues across the town

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:04 pm

It is now the FIFTH day of the drivers panic buying fuel saga which seems to be a much-improved situation across Northampton - but there are still some issues.

The fuel shortage fears started last week after BP said it would have to close a 'handful' of its petrol stations due to a shortage of drivers.

This then caused a knock-on effect of motorists going out to panic buy fuel due to fears of potential shortages, which later led to many stations running out in Northampton and across the country.

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It is the fifth day of motorists panic buying fuel (stock image)

The last four days (Friday to Monday) have been chaos at petrol stations across the town.But today (Tuesday), The Chron has seen a much-improved picture, although it has not gone back to normal just yet.

The Chron visited three major filling stations in the town at around 12pm which were Morrisons in Victoria Promenade, Tesco Extra in Mereway, and Sainsbury's in Weedon Road.

Tesco and Sainsbury's had smaller queues than they have had in the previous days but marshals were still outside having to direct traffic.

Also, Sainsbury's was only selling petrol as there was no diesel, according to a garage worker.

Morrisons still had traffic chaos at its entrance, which was affecting the roundabout on the A4500 near Becket's Park.

The supermarkets have provided updates today of how they currently see the situation.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We have good availability of fuel, and we’re working really hard to ensure regular deliveries to our petrol filling stations across the UK every day."

A Morrisons spokeswoman said: "It is a rapidly moving situation and we are working hard with our suppliers to ensure we can continue to keep our pumps open and serve our customers."

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We’re experiencing high demand for fuel. We’re working closely with our supplier to maintain supply and all our sites continue to receive fuel.”

Elsewhere in the town, the Shell garage on the A4500 near Kislingbury is still without fuel; the Shell garage in Far Cotton is taped off to drivers; Westbridge Garage has both petrol and diesel but there is a spending cap of £30; and there were queues into the Gulf garage in Grafton Street.

The government's transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has admitted that Brexit is 'no doubt' a 'factor' in the situation.

He said today: "Brexit I hear mentioned a lot and it no doubt will have been a factor.

"On the other hand, it has actually helped us to change rules to be able to test more drivers more quickly.

"So, it has actually worked in both ways."

Fuel prices are now at their highest since 2013, with the RAC describing it as a 'bleak picture for drivers'.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "When it comes to pump prices, it's a pretty bleak picture for drivers.

"With the cost of oil rising and now near a three-year high, wholesale prices are being forced up which means retailers are paying more than they were just a few days ago for the same amount of fuel.

"This has led to the price of a litre of unleaded already going up by a penny since Friday.

"We might yet see higher forecourt prices in the coming days, irrespective of the current supply problems.

"We are also aware of a small number of retailers taking advantage of the current delivery situation by hiking prices, so we'd remind drivers to always compare the price they're being asked to pay with the current UK averages which are 136.69p for petrol and 138.58p for diesel."

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