[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 17 September 2005, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
What do you think of the fuel protests?
Picture sent in by Andy Nicholson

Are you worried by the fuel price protestors action?

Around 60 vehicles have taken part in a go-slow along the M4 in south Wales as a price war is breaking out between petrol companies.

A number of small demonstrations have also taken place at oil refineries.

The protests come as petrol retailers cut the price of up to 4p a litre. They said action earlier in the week had little impact on supplies, despite a wave of panic buying.

Have you taken part in a protest? Have the protests affected you? In your area, have motorists been stocking up on petrol?

If you have any photos of the go-slow protest, please send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Caroline, Scotland
Should rising fuel prices cause us to protest? Or look for more sustainable modes of transport?

I won't be 'panic buying', I simply can't afford to. Must working class people, with a mortgage etc, live on a monthly budget, and I am no different. I use 15 litres of diesel a week just for work. 40 litres if I visit my Mum in Blackpool. I rarely can afford to fill my Vectra estate to the brim and I am certainly not joining a 30 or 40 car queue for my diesel. If that is the case then the car will stay at home and I will be forced to use pedal power instead, and cycle some 20 miles a day to and from work!
Mike Neill, Hull, UK

The people who are going out and panic buying are the people who believe in fuel tax cuts. This is the only way to make a major impact on the government's stance. We hear about Brown blaming the oil industries for the price rises what about the extra revenue tax he is making from their higher prices? Go out and buy as much petrol as possible I say and let the pumps run dry.
Paul, Middlesbrough, Cleveland

While in Cyprus on holiday the government put up the price of petrol/diesel and every taxi driver went on strike. Within a day the price hike was reversed. Maybe we should learn something from them.
A Bain, Kirkcaldy

I run a diesel, and I haven't tried to fill up yet. I did think about using bio-diesel, but the price of that is keeping pace with mineral diesel. What's their excuse for putting their prices up? I could run my car on straight vegetable oil, but the Customs and Excise have decided to change their rules so that all people using it have to pay full duty, even though it is by its very nature biodegradable and carbon neutral. If I didn't have to travel 500 miles a week to get to work I wouldn't have a car. I would accept the restriction on my human rights to travel, and stay in my home town. Unfortunately that is not a luxury afforded me, something I'm sure the Chancellor is aware of and makes use of.
Dave, Lowestoft, UK

I am unable to get to work today, and cannot help feeling that this problem has been self inflicted by silly people reacting to a media frenzy. People filling up jerry cans should have there cars confiscated.
Eddie, Bootle, England

It isn't the price of oil that I am upset by. It's the high tax the government forces us to pay. We are supposed to live in a democracy aren't we? Shouldn't the government be doing what we 'the people' want?
Jon, Stone, Staffordshire

The sooner we move to alternative fuels the better
Adam, Stirling, UK
The high prices are here to stay and will probably get higher! Gordon Brown has asked Opec to produce more oil, unfortunately they are already very close to their production capacity. With the demand for oil from China and the developing world increasing all the time it doesn't take a genius to understand that sooner or later there is not going to be enough oil to go around. The sooner we move to alternative fuels the better. Maybe the high fuel prices are just what we need to make us do it.
Adam, Stirling, UK

It disgusts me. I cannot afford to run an expensive car, but the car I have I need to travel to work. Public transport does not serve the rural community as well as towns and cities. I travel 100 miles each way a day. Over the last 15 years, I have watched fuel costs triple, but income has not increased by the same amount. With the price in houses also skyrocketing, I cannot live close to my job because I cannot afford the houses, and now I find I cannot afford to travel to my job. I support the activities of these protestors 100%.
Jason, Andover, Hampshire

This morning I drove past several stations that were closed because they have no petrol and several others with huge queues. Eventually I came to one that had smaller queues and even though I was not empty I filled up as if I do not and the trend continues then by tomorrow I could be unable to take my children to school or get to work. So, once the panic buying starts people have little choice but to follow suit. The real fault lies with the media hyping the possibility of a shortage and the government telling us not to panic buy as there is not a problem - a sure sign that there is!
Patrick, Portsmouth, UK

Minimum fuel purchase doesn't only penalise people on low incomes. There would also be a safety issue. I would have to drive my small car until the low fuel light comes on (and several miles more) to squeeze in the 30 people have been talking about. This would leave me at serious risk of becoming stranded. Meanwhile all those people with gas guzzlers with enormous tanks could continue to top up when they were still half full. Should I just forget the environment and buy myself a bigger car?
Ellii, Hatfield, UK

Just who do these protest planning people think they represent? The only people likely to suffer as a result of their actions are those they claim; to represent - the man in the street. Whether or not there are real petrol shortages, the threats of these people have been sufficient to stimulate an artificial shortage!
Nick McCallen, Southport Merseyside

People would complain if their public services deteriorated
Andrew Jones, Stockport
People would complain if their public services deteriorated, so stop complaining about the duty on fuel. Sure it's high, but I like walking into a free hospital and getting some of the best health care in the world. People panic buying clearly have no sense - just because they cannot (may not) be able to buy fuel for maybe two days, they go out and fill two cars plus a garage of jerry cans! How much fuel do they seriously need? I've got half a tank left but I'm not crying myself to sleep at night, because I know it'll last me nearly two weeks!
Andrew Jones, Stockport

We live in a democracy and should demonstrate through the ballot box - any behaviour such as the fuel protests is simply a minority trying to force their views on everyone else. I have no sympathy for hauliers - large trucks cause thousands of times as much damage to the roads as cars but they do not pay a proportionate amount of road tax. There are alternative methods of transportation for goods and materials they just require businesses to improve their planning capabilities.
Mark Davies, London, UK

I haven't bought any petrol. Fortunately I don't need to use my car that much as I commute by rail. However, I blame the media for all this panic. If nothing had been said on the news last night then none of this would have happened at least not for a couple more days. Well done guys. When you say 'don't panic but...' What do you expect
Richard, Romford

Let us start getting used to this. It is only going to get worse. Peak oil is our present reality. Soon we must start rationing our depleting supplies. Things are never going back to how they used to be. The future you and I thought we were going to have has just been changed, and the world with it - forever. It's called Hubbert's Curve.
Christopher Briggs, Bergen, Norway

I can't get any petrol anywhere. All the local garages are sold out.
Laura Billington, Newton Le Willows, Merseyside

If the petrol stations had any sense, they would put the price of petrol up further before any threatened protests. This would prevent panic buying. Simple laws of supply and demand.
Ed, Edinburgh, UK

Yes, petrol is too expensive, plus I strongly object to the amount of fuel duty. However as an NHS Health Professional I am not looking forward to the chaos that is to surely come nor the offensive comments that will come when I legitimately buy fuel to continue to visit patients.
SMW, Weymouth, Dorset

I filled up the car and a large derv jerry can last Friday before the queues began. I also stockpiled dried and tinned food. I don't trust the protesters and I don't trust the Government.
Mark, Glasgow, UK

I don't want these people taking this action on my behalf, don't they realise the effect they are having on people's lives? They certainly don't have my support.
Viv Hammond, Maidstone, Kent

No way should the Government cut fuel duty. It's about time that we started to find an alternative to oil based fuels. We have known for ages that oil prices will only ever go up but we have done nothing. Now is the time for major investment in new, green fuels and the oil companies need to be at the forefront, or they will find themselves out of business within 15 years.
Andrew Clure, Manchester, UK

The fuel protests have certainly got me panicked. I run a Range Rover and I've just queued for half an hour to fill it, and two extra cans. That won't last me long - about two days - but I'll queue again for as long as it takes. I need my car (I have to take my child to school) and I'll do anything to keep it filled up.
Lesley, London

Asking people not to panic buy is a guaranteed way of starting panic buying.
Martin, Sheffield, UK
The queues in and around Sheffield had already started on Sunday afternoon. Asking people not to panic buy is a guaranteed way of starting panic buying. Anyone remember the sugar shortage in the 1970s?
Martin, Sheffield, UK

Why do people always panic buy? If we just calmed down there would be enough for everyone. I saw a man fill three Jerry cans and his car this morning. Why?
Chris Lowe, Wolverhampton, England

These protestors are behaving like the mob, threatening the country with anarchy. The police should clamp down on them, hard.
Colin, London, UK

Whilst the price of oil has increased due to the atrocities in America (Hurricane Katrina) and the public in general appreciate this why has the tax increased as well - it is almost like the government are pocketing from the devastation! Something needs to be done here not on the global markets - that is not at fault.
Pauline Delmonaco, Accrington, England

My wife attempted to wake me at midnight, crying that the car was empty and that there would be fuel shortages. "We need to fill the car" she said. So out she went with the car on an empty tank hunting for an open station. I went back to sleep. I take the bus and train to work. My wife drives 20 miles a day, to another town, to shop - with a lead foot. It makes you wonder why we use so much fuel even with sky high prices. Old habits die hard I suppose.
Salik Rafiq, Blackburn

So basically Gordon Brown is blaming the oil-producing nations, despite the fact that over 60% of the money you pay for petrol goes straight to him. I haven't been panic buying, but I have the option not to use my car. I know others who aren't so lucky.
Alan, Lincs, UK

The public need to boycott the pumps across the country
Keith, Chichester
The public need to boycott the pumps across the country. If no one buys petrol except those who need it ie emergency services it would soon come down
Keith, Chichester

This government has held the motorist to ransom with outrageous taxes on fuel for long enough, I support the fuel protestors 100% and Brown needs to listen and raise his spending money somewhere else.
Leslie Burden, London

My wife is due to give birth any time now, so there was no question that I was going to fill my car up as a dutiful dad-to-be. Mind you, it took me five garages and 30 minutes queuing to do so.
Steve Green, Hoddesdon, England

I was away for the weekend and did not know of the problem with the petrol. I have not been able to get any petrol as the garages by me have run out. I do not have enough petrol in the car to wait in very long queues and as I work full time I need to use what I have to get to work for the next two days. So much for queuing and all garages having petrol.
Lyn Sanders, Aldridge, Walsall, West Mids

I bought some petrol over the weekend prior to all this panic buying. I really need petrol now as I am nearly on empty so this panic buying is stopping me from getting the petrol I need. Queuing for 30 minutes plus is going to be very difficult with a crying baby in the back of the car. Why can't people just get what they need when they need it instead of topping up just for the sake of it.
Sharon Green, Wirral, UK

Why doesn't the government just charge a flat amount of tax on a litre of petrol?
Dan, Chichester, England
Gordon Brown's lecturing of the need for other governments to sort this problem out may carry more weight if Labour had taken the effect to create a decent public transport system over here. Why doesn't the government just charge a flat amount of tax (not a percentage) on a litre of petrol? That way they can't be accused of profiting when prices rise.
Dan, Chichester, England

If the government wants us to use public transport it either needs to be cheaper and offer a better service. Trains in this country are a shambles.
Chris, Southend, UK

Most of us use our cars to get to work. My journey in my car takes me 30 to 45 minutes. Public transport would involve a bus and two trains and take over two hours. Why should I give my car up when there is no alternative?
Catriona, Whittle Le Woods, Lancs

Telling people not to panic is a certain way to start panic buying. After the last time I am now glad that I bought a diesel with a big tank. Even with a 25 mile journey to work the half tank I have will last well into next week by which time prices should have come down a bit.
Roger, Stockport, England

I wonder which hospitals, schools and nursing homes the petrol protestors would like to see closed if they get their way and the amount of tax on petrol is reduced?
Stewart, Leeds, UK

We didn't even consider panic buying until told by the media not to
Joanne, Leeds
We didn't even consider panic buying until told by the media not to. Then the queues at all the petrol stations in our area made us consider our almost empty tank, and we had to join in out of necessity.
Joanne, Leeds

I have a business in a rural location and last time this happened my staff couldn't get fuel and couldn't get to work. This meant that we couldn't manufacture products quick enough and therefore lost business to foreign competitors. The government have to get this situation sorted this time.
Simon, Leamington Spa

I have been seen queues in excess of 25 - 30 cars in Backwell, yesterday and this morning waiting for fuel in the light of the impending fuel protests. I still can't imagine why when the government are making almost 18 on every 20 of fuel consumed by the public, that they can't drop the cost of petrol and diesel by 35p per litre. Surely all this would do is cut the profit that the government is already making and lining their pockets with already?
Peter Smith, Claverham, North Somerset

No public transport to my place of work and housing prices are too high to move closer to work. My partner has the same problems in the opposite direction. So we are stuck as a two car commuting household. What are we supposed to do Mr Blair?
Paul, Scotland

Three garages in my local area are closed due to shortages on fuel. At the only one that had had a delivery there were 20 minute waits to even get in the garage.
Hannah, Ashford, Middlesex

We must be the only country in the world that pays such a high rate of tax on petrol
Justin, Leicester, England
I think the amount of tax we pay on petrol is a bit ridiculous. Gordon Brown says it's a global problem but we must be the only country in the world that pays such a high rate of tax on petrol. It's time people woke up and did something about it instead of just accepting things the way they are. Also as a country we are far too reliant on oil, why doesn't the government invest in some kind of alternative?
Justin, Leicester, England

Yes I filled up my tank last night. I have no choice; I have an 80 mile round trip to work each day. There is no public transport alternative. Come on Gordon sort this mess out.
Gilbert Robinson, Doncaster, UK

Can I remind people who moan about the cost of fuel that real costs of motoring have actually dropped since 1975 whereas public transport costs have risen by over 50%! The government must start acting immediately to improve public transport in rural areas as proper alternatives to the car. And everyone in cities should just bike and walk more! Due to climate change, radical changes in the way we live will be necessary much sooner than people realize anyway.
Rob Siveter, London, UK

I went yesterday morning and paid 96.5p per litre. When I went back in the evening to get a paper it was up to 98.5p per litre. I asked the garage owner why he had put it up when other garages had not and he told me Texaco had told him to put it up an extra 2p. It seems they are cashing in on things.
Gareth Edmondson, Brynaman, South Wales

I have no choice but to use my car for work. I live some 10 miles from my workplace and there isn't a single bus route past my workplace. It would mean an interconnecting journey from city centre, meaning a 2 bus ride just to get me within 2 miles of my workplace. Can you imagine the extra time needed for each journey? Improve public transport and I would certainly consider using it, until then I am stuck with my car. If I cannot get fuel, I cannot get to work. Has the government thought about that one?? And as far as 'panic buying' is concerned, I couldn't afford to stock up even if I wanted to.
Michael, Hull, UK

As a Transport Manager of 12 vehicles, I'd just like to point out that diesel costs have increased by 15% since July 2004. As a service provider, we cannot keep raising charges to our customers, we would lose the work and go out of business, and anyway, charges we increase will ultimately increase to the consumer. The Road Transport industry is the lifeblood of this country. Gordon Brown is doing all he can to put us to the wall. No pain, no gain. Support the Transport Industry! (And the protesters)
Jake Stevenson, Rugby, Warwickshire

Maybe the government should be encouraging companies to have smaller offices in easy to reach locations
Gill, Derby, England
Oil consumption has increased because the government have encouraged companies to centralize their operations, because of that I now have to drive a 32 mile round trip to work instead of the 15 minute walk I used to have. There is no public transport because the company has relocated to a industrial estate on the edge of the town - maybe the government should be encouraging companies to have smaller offices in easy to reach locations, or putting bus routes on to industrial centres (never done) to give people like myself an option.
Gill, Derby, England

The Morrisons supermarket in Wheatfield way Hinckley is full of cars trying to get petrol. They have had to deploy security to control the crowds.
David Lovatt, Hinckley

Welcome to the beginning of the end guys! In reality, the oil will be all but gone in most of our life times. As it becomes increasingly scarce, the price is going to rise far beyond anything you can imagine. Better get used to it.
Chas Knight, Duxford, UK

Unfortunately we live in a very charitable country where the government seem more concerned about problems elsewhere in the world rather than on their own doorstep. Our PM should wake up and listen to us when we say we live in one of the highest taxed countries in Europe and think about helping us for a change instead to ripping us off.
Sean Brimlow, Wrexham

It's all very well suggesting we use shanks's pony or a bike to get to work. We live 20 miles from my husband's work (because the house prices near his office are ridiculous). Even the train station is 3 miles from us, due to urban sprawl. That is modern life.
Mrs Stokes, Redditch

I haven't purposely gone out to buy petrol in light of the proposed blockades - but I have filled up as a matter of need. What really bugs me is that Opec probably do need to increase production but the blockades, I feel, are in demonstration against the high taxes that are levied on our fuel. So basically, I am saying that Mr Brown needs to look closer to home rather than putting more pressure on Opec.
Mark Harrison, Leicestershire

One bus every 2 hours to local town
Dave, Leeds, UK
Public transport - what's that then? One bus every 2 hours to local town. Returns scheduled to not quite meet with arrivals. Get a motorbike - I'm getting 65mpg and sliding past all the queues. As to 4x4's - having seen the state of our roads, you need them just to deal with the pot holes.
Dave, Leeds, UK

These days a car is an essential item as supermarkets put small grocers out of business then move their stores to out of town areas unreachable by public transport.
Thomas Nicholson, Manchester, England

There are 5 petrol stations in between my home and my office and every single one of them has signs outside all of them saying "no unleaded" or "no diesel", it's ridiculous. People are still queuing at the pumps though, what are they expecting to fill their cars up with, air? At the end of the day a protest is not going to make a blind bit of difference and panic buying is only going to cause unrest and frustration amongst the public. Either walk to where you need to go if it's within a reasonable distance or just don't go. How are the emergency services going to cope when there is no fuel left for them?
Jane, Leeds, UK

Parents could save thousands of pounds and litres of petrol if they walked their children to and from school. There would be less congestion on the roads, which in turn would make crossing the roads safer. At some point, and probably in our life-time, oil is going to run out - we have to start thinking (and doing) now, about what we are going to do when it is all gone.
Kate Parish, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire

This panic buying is starting a national crisis. Where is Tony Blair - why isn't he addressing the nation?
Dan Dennehy, Coventry, West Midlands

A neighbour of mine is also still driving to the local tennis club which is a 7 minutes walk away
Ian, UK
The price of fuel hasn't deterred my next door neighbour from driving the 1 mile each way every morning to drop her son off and then again to pick him up at lunchtime. Another neighbour of mine is also still driving to the local tennis club which is a 7 minutes walk away!
Ian, UK

No - but as a person who legitimately was on 'empty' and needed fuel there and then I had to sit in a huge queue while a large number of drivers were clearly there to panic-buy. How annoying. What I also find laughable is these fuel protests mean that nationally people go out and buy more than they need at the current inflated price which the government I'm sure will only too happily accept the revenue on. Exactly how does that help? Surely, as a nation, if we really wanted to make a point, we would simply boycott buying fuel altogether. And of course - that's really going to happen isn't it?
Russ, Warwick, UK

Driving over 100 miles a day, I had no choice. I needed petrol before all the Sunday drivers took it all!
Tess, Redditch

I love the way the government and media collude in creating the impression we're all "motorists" as if "motoring" were some sort of hobby! We are not "motorists" we are, workers, nurses, doctors, parents, carers, employers and employees - most people who drive have to drive. Don't patronise us with the title "motorist".
Alan, London, UK

Most car journeys are not vital, cars because vast amounts of pollution kill thousands every year and when behind the wheel many drivers become irrational and aggressive. The sooner the combustion engine is replaced the better. Yet again people just won't accept the facts; oil is dirty, and with any luck demand will significantly outstrip supply sooner than we think. At that point you can forget your attacks on Gordon Brown, the market itself will push prices sky high.
William, London UK

Such crises is nothing but self-fulfilling prophecies
Xaphod, Manchester, England
I've got enough petrol until the weekend although I may fill my car tomorrow if things don't look like they'll settle down. But I do suspect the crisis is over this morning the garage where I saw the first queue on Monday evening was putting its prices back down from 99.9p. If you ask me such crises is nothing but self-fulfilling prophecies. The effects were more noticeable in 2000 because, in my opinion, the protesters really wanted to prove to the French that we had the ability to protest just as earnestly as they do.
Xaphod, Manchester, England

As a cyclist in London, I couldn't help smiling wryly as every garage I passed on my way home last night had either a huge queue of cars or signs saying no more petrol. I'm amazed at how sheep-like the British public are!
Chris, Watford

These idiots who are panic buying are ridiculous. I had to queue for 40 minutes to get petrol yesterday, and I only wanted 10 worth just in case.
Steve B, Manchester

It's always the same its other people who are wrong not you. Most of the people on here I bet could find other ways into work but are too lazy, that's fine but don't attempt to justify it by saying you have to. They should put a huge tax on 4x4s and subside bike purchase or and schemes to encourage more children to walk to school.
Phil, Solihull

I find it astonishing that British people can panic where there should be no need. They are like lemmings- they have caused queues at all the local filling stations and a certain large supermarket had to have four staff instructing us shoppers how to gain access to the store. What would happen in a real emergency? I normally fill tanks on our two cars when they are down to about 20% capacity it causes more pollution and uses more fuel filling up needlessly anyway.
Alastair Clarke, Leamington Spa UK

It's all very well saying make your kids walk to school but in the winter months when it's dark (and this also applies to adults) the number of muggings and attacks will rise which will give us another problem to solve
Rob, Corby, England

It just plays into the hands of petrol station owners who overcharge
Paul S, Essex
No I haven't because it just plays into the hands of petrol station owners who overcharge. There are a significant number of garages that are adding an extra 1p or 2p to the price. There is definitely an element of profiteering in all this.
Paul S, Essex

I have now lived in London for six years and have managed without a car in all that time. No fuel tax to pay, no road fund license, no car insurance. I'm so glad I'm not a part of this madness.
Richard, London

I ride a motorcycle and think that fuel prices should be twice what they are anyway. It may make people think about how much they use every week. I won't be filling my tank till it needs it. I've got better things to do than wait on a petrol station forecourt.
Daren Howells, London, UK

There have only been minor queues over the past few days in my local garages. No queue that I saw actually stretched back onto the street. I filled up this morning at one of the many clear garages on my way to work and what's more the price had dropped back to last week's level. I hope that the panic buyers, and the rather pathetic fuel protesters, have learned their lesson.
John, Glasgow

I've got no fuel and everywhere has run out
Iain Moal, Maidenhead
I've got no fuel and everywhere has run out. I'm supposed to go for a romantic weekend in the Lake District tomorrow and it's too late to cancel the hotel. Why am I in this predicament? Because I did what the government told me and didn't panic buy.
Iain Moal, Maidenhead

My local regular garage ran out of diesel and unleaded last night. I only buy a tankful every six weeks but low sulphur was all that was available at 98.9p a litre. My neighbour still drives her kids to school which is a 10 minute walk. She must have a stockpile as needed for a BMW 4x4.
T Newman, Bournemouth, UK

It's crazy how much we have to pay in tax. In rural areas there is no public transport you can use instead of a car. We are being bled dry yet our roads are a mess and we have no choice at all.
Philip, Co Tyrone

I've enjoyed watching the panic buying nitwits suffer self-inflicted misery. It'll be over before I need my next regular weekly top-up. Pity for people caught up in it that weren't panic buying though.
Ed, Aberdeen, Scotland

If the government won't reduce fuel tax, then why not pressure them to invest a percentage of the fuel tax into research on replacements? Surely they will do something if the right idea is put forward
Chris, Newark, UK

I live in a village where buses are scarce and walking to work is too far away
Andrea Ford, Welwyn Garden City, England
Some people make comments about people walking or using public transport. That is not always easy, I live in a village where buses are scarce and walking to work is too far away, so people should be aware of everybody's facts before they criticise drivers.
Andrea Ford, Welwyn Garden City, England

Let's make the fuel protests as big as 2000 and perhaps the government and other countries will realise how unfair it is to charge 1 a litre. Why is it not this much in our neighbouring countries? We are laughed at for being the fools who pay this much. Bring on full scale protests.
Caroline, Glasgow

Panic buying has caused traffic havoc around my area. Remember the more we buy the more we are putting into the government's pocket. With prices approaching 1 per litre it's time that we all started shouting. Why should we pay per litre what other countries pay per gallon, it's daylight robbery. The ideal way to protest would be to leave your cars at home for a day and use public transport, it will prove that the transport system simply can't cope with the volume.
Manoj, Hayes, Middlesex

No, I have not been panic buying, nor have I seen any panic buying. I live in Oxford, which as an old city has no city centre parking. So as usual I and all other Oxford residents have been cycling, walking or bussing to work. Maybe others should try the same.
Elizabeth, Oxford

What a sham and a perfect example of media hype
Jill Smith, Tyne and Wear
What a sham and a perfect example of media hype. I am appalled at the amount of people who refuse to use public transport as it is inconvenient (for them). Do these people car share and make it less expensive to use their cars? Many cars on the road have no more than one person in it. Maybe people should try and car share or try the bus instead of whinging about petrol prices.
Jill Smith, Tyne and Wear

I work for a haulage company and can confirm that we are being hit hard by the fuel prices. The seriousness of the matter can now be seen because European hauliers are also feeling the pinch.
Duncan, England

Either there is enough oil for the world or there is not. Governments make massive amounts of money from tax. If they do not reduce the tax and the cost of production then there will be a massive recession - end of story.
Edward O'Riordan, UK

Yes. I use a full tank of diesel every three days to commute to work and back, so if there are problems I'll be off work for half the week.
Mark, Milton Keynes

Totally agree with all the comments about panic buying causing shortages. Here in the Grimsby area it has been like this now for nearly a week. But why use it as an excuse to have a go at 4x4 drivers - there are plenty of non 4x4's using just as much if not more fuel.
Matt, Lincs

One sniff of a fuel protest and we all panic
Jeff, Amersham, UK
I am ashamed. Our fathers and mothers lived through the Blitz, yet one sniff of a fuel protest and we all panic in case we actually have to walk to school with little Johnny rather than drive him. What have we become?
Jeff, Amersham, UK

My local BP petrol station has completely run out. I was forced to wait 45 minutes at 1am to pay 96p per litre, so I could get to work this morning. The situation is dire. It's not just high taxes, the idiotic fuel protesters and their lorries that are creating the problem.
Mr Whitehouse, Halesowen, West Midlands

People in Southend are panic buying. The government should be less greedy and cut tax on fuel. Increasing the price to try to cut down fuel consumption only affects the poor, a fairer scheme would be to ration fuel.
Graham Lidbury, Southend, Essex

People need to realise that the external costs of using petrol, i.e. the environmental, health and social damage caused by pollution, are not met by current fuel prices. The sad fact is that we will need to swallow even higher fuel costs in the future. Time to wake up to the bigger picture and start changing some of the things we take for granted in our lives.
David Rodgers, Bideford

I am disabled and am now a virtual prisoner in my own home
Barbara Mackenzie, Preston, Lancashire
Because I have not rushed out in a panic (as requested) I now have no petrol and any garages in the area are closed. I am disabled and am now a virtual prisoner in my own home. I can't be independent if I wanted to be.
Barbara Mackenzie, Preston, Lancashire

There's certainly panic buying here. Yesterday two supermarkets in town ran out, and police were called to divert traffic as people rushed to a third to fill up. Or maybe that was just because you can get petrol for 'only' 90.9p per litre there?
Sarah, Eastbourne, UK

The panic buying is typical of the stupidity of an increasing number of people in this country - nobody has threatened to blockade fuel depots and the country has sufficient reserves but still the idiots keep topping up their tanks! Do they not realise that their actions, not the supply chain, is causing stations to run dry! Ridiculous
Matt, London, UK

I've seen people queuing in garages near me, and one Shell station appears to have run out of regular unleaded. The protests haven't even got going yet, either - mad! We are due to visit friends in Wiltshire this weekend and because of all this, we have decided to take the train rather than risk not being able to get petrol or having to spend hours in queues. Trouble is, much as it will be nice not to have to drive, the train fare for the two of us is over 100, as opposed to using maybe 40 of petrol (even at 1.02 per litre) - and then people wonder why most of us prefer to take the car.
Paul, Worthing, UK

It's easy for people to say that drivers can walk or cycle or use public transport, but the fact of the matter is that we pay for the privilege of using a car by paying an extortionate amount of tax. If drivers stopped paying this, the taxpayer would have to make up the difference! Drivers are soft targets since some of them have no other alternative but to drive. Maybe those who criticise drivers should expend their energies more effectively by lobbying the government, fuel and car companies to mass produce less pollutant cars, since the technology is already available.
Mike Stern, London

I have no public transport system to get me to work so need to use my car. Refuelling yesterday at a pump costing me 94.7p per litre meanwhile today a station a mile away had jumped his price to 1.05 a litre, where is the regulation in that? It seems the government and the industry are making large profits at our expanse again.
Dave Ball, Brandon, Norfolk

Why aren't more people making efforts to arrange a car pool, take public transport for a few days or walk where able?
Rachel, Bradford
I am absolutely astounded and disappointed by the behaviour of the British public. Why aren't more people making efforts to arrange a car pool, take public transport for a few days or walk where able? If we really are to experience fuel shortages surely the emergency services, those in need of regular medical care, remote residents and vans delivering to supermarkets should have first dibs on what's left, not those able bodied office workers who can easily make other arrangements.
Rachel, Bradford

As far as I can see at the moment, if we are heading for a fuel crisis, then it would be as much the fault of these so-called 'panic buyers' stocking up on more fuel than they need as much as anyone. It is these people who are draining the petrol pumps dry, not the government, protesters, hurricanes in the US or even the war in Iraq! People need to exercise a bit of common sense and calm down. Then, should the worst happen, there will be much more fuel to go around!
Liz, Wiltshire

I wish one of these politicians could see that we use fuel in order to make our businesses flourish. If our businesses flourish we make more money for the economy. If businesses are failing or high tax means less is spent on other taxable items there might be an even greater negative effect.
Andrew, Bath

I wish the fuel protestors every success. I am willing to walk to work for a few days if necessary, it will be inconvenient but the government has to learn that it cannot keep extorting more and more money from working people. Half the cost of fuel is tax so how Gordon Brown can claim it is not something the Government can do, I don't understand. About time the Government stopped wasting money and stopped taxing British Business out of existence.
Dave Astley, West Yorks

People should take stock and forget about their selfishness. Oil is a finite resource and should be used wisely, if at all. I have not driven a car since 1974 because of the harm petrol combustion does to the environment and I've adjusted my lifestyle accordingly!
Kevin, UK

I have not bought any fuel this week. If I run out due to 'unforeseen circumstances' then I run out, and will have to stay at home - maybe watching the TV, with a couple of glasses of wine. C'est la vie! (Hope the weather's nice!)
I Thomas, Stoke on Trent, England

Yes I have and I'm glad I did as my local petrol station has already put a sign up stating 20 max per person. It may be panic buying but I don't care. At least I'm one of the ones with a full tank. I don't see what difference it makes anyway, I'm only buying something that I will need soon anyway. Call me a "numptie" I don't care!
Lorna, Glos, UK

I've just come back from walking through Dorking at lunchtime and the petrol station there has sold out of fuel due to panic buying. I don't have a car anymore, but this does seem very much like a self-perpetuating problem at the moment.
Kirsty, Crawley, UK

Reading the comments here has given me a great idea for shops to shift unwanted stock without knocking down the price. Simply announce that there is no need to buy nylon socks, pot noodles or A5 notepads, because stocks are OK, and they'll have queues out the door. Remember folks, you heard it here first!
Jon G, Huddersfield, UK




VOTE RESULTS
Will the threat of protest make you use your car less?
Yes
70%
No
30%
11165 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed


SEE ALSO:
Brown blames fuel costs on Opec
11 Sep 05 |  Business
EU ministers urge oil output rise
10 Sep 05 |  Business



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific