Fleet News

Fleet operators will wait weeks before fuel supplies return to normal

FUEL tankers are back on the road again in most parts of the country after fuel protesters voluntarily ended their week-long blockade - but most experts are predicting that it will take several weeks before normality is restored.

As British businesses grind to a halt, fuel industry commentators reckon it will take 30 days to rebuild the fuel supply infrastructure - meaning the knock-on effects will continue to be felt well into next week.

Public service fleets have been forced to cut back their operations as the fuel crisis continues. Police and ambulance services in several areas have cancelled or reduced their non-emergency services and health visitors have complained that the blockade is preventing them from doing their jobs.

Company car drivers are cancelling most appointments as Britain's fuel blockade brings the nation's business community grinding to a halt. Protests, which started with a small-scale campaign in the Northwest last week, have escalated to a nationwide blockade of two thirds of the country's oil refineries.

Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted fuel supplies would start to return to normal inside 24 hours after police and the oil companies promised to get the tankers moving again, but most commentators believe things will get worse before they improve.

This morning - as tankers started to roll again - an estimated 90 per cent of the nation's petrol stations were completely dry, with the remainder supplying only emergency services. The situation has been exacerbated by 'go slow' protests by farmers, truck drivers and taxis in city centres and on main arterial routes.

Prime Minister Blair seems determined to tough it out. He insisted he will not give in to the protests, blaming the rise in fuel prices on the increase in world oil prices which have gone from $10 to $30 a barrel in recent months.

Fuel management specialist PHH Allstar has regularly updated information on nationwide fuel shortages on its website. Click here for links to advice and useful links.

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