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Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Fuel crisis: Your experiences

Deliveries of petrol across the UK are resuming slowly, but the crisis is far from over.

Nearly three-quarters of petrol stations in the UK remain empty and it will be weeks before the situation is back to normal.

Protests and blockades are continuing in the UK, Belgium, Italy and Ireland.

Here are your experiences of the fuel crisis.


I hear a lot about petrol but what about fuel oil?

Stephen Hill, Norwich, UK
I hear a lot about petrol but what about fuel oil? I live in the countryside. I need petrol for the 25-mile trip to the nearest town and back because of the lack of public transport. I also need fuel oil to run my central heating as there is no gas in the village and I can't afford to change my system to electricity. Spare a thought for us. We cannot swap to public transport to solve this problem either.
Stephen Hill, Norwich, UK

I am a contractor and if I don't work, I don't get paid. Can you tell me which department in our Government I can contact to recoup the 3 days work lost last week due to non-availability of petrol?
Phil Potter, Huntingdon, Cambs

I think that the Government should take note of the increasing public dissatisfaction with the way things are turning out. We hear about wage increases in the political sector way above the rate of inflation, the high wages of NHS management and the wasted funds to the Dome. Where does all this money come from? The ever-resourceful Great British taxpayer. It didn't take long for Labour to turn the clock back to the 1970's.
Steve Smith, Kent, UK

To put 17.5% VAT on already high petrol tax insults intelligence. To promote inefficient refined lead free fuel above efficient part-refined diesel is insane. To expect voters to be impressed at the impending vote grabbing tax give-away to inefficient state "black holes" is a further insult. To expect me to run my electrical contracting business on a bike or by train or bus beggars belief.
Ken Shaw, Colchester, Essex

In the wake of recent rumours, leading to further panic buying by the public, strict petrol limits should immediately be enforced by law to prevent a needless situation worsening to the extent that we will all be back to square one.
Nikki, London, England

As long as we are slaves to petrol then the oil companies and governments will continue to rip us off. I can seriously see that the only way out is going to have to be an alternative energy source like electric vehicles.
Phil Hill, Bristol


How about a protest to reduce the cost of public transport?

Jane Lack, Cardiff, UK
I have thoroughly enjoyed not having to drive to work every day. I have car-shared and will continue to do so. How about a protest to reduce the cost of public transport?
Jane Lack, Cardiff, UK

Now a little fuel is flowing how on earth can the garage opposite me in Barton dare to charge 93.9 pence per litre? What is the Government going to do about that sort of thing - if anything?
W. Marriott, Cambridge UK

Why is the Government setting up a task force when they really should be talking to the protestors? The attitude of we will stop you next time will not work.
Ken Wright, Peterborough

I stopped moaning about Britain 5 years ago and left to live with my family in central Portugal. I pay for all my family's health care and I do this on my private pension of 400 per month, so stop whining about fuel prices etc and take the plunge.
John Davison, Portugal

I thoroughly enjoyed the week. The car didn't move and I saved money by walking. Let's have this every month!
Nick, St Leonards on Sea, England


Diesel or petrol is a necessary tool for many businesses in this part of the world

Daniel Lo, Singapore
The recent steep hike in fuel prices without any sign of respite in the coming winter term, is besieging an already shaky economic recovery in Asia. Like a carpenter who needs the chisel for his job, diesel or petrol is a necessary tool for many businesses in this part of the world. This is especially so for small enterprises, which are increasingly being deprived of the means to stay in business. Undoubtedly, the local governments may have limited influence over OPEC's decision to adjust fuel output, but they certainly have control over our present tax level on fuel.
Daniel Lo, Singapore

10 years ago the price of oil was higher then than it is now, but petrol was cheaper. The only increase is in the greed of governments with their so-called tax to stop people using polluting petrol. 18 months ago oil was at 9 dollars a barrel, the consuming countries pleaded with the producers to slow down as all storage was full and there was nowhere to put it. If consumers could manage their commodities better, the suppliers could try to keep an even price range.
Paul, Stavanger, Norway

I drove, I saw and I filled my tank.
Ade Talabi, UK


You can't have your cake and eat it!

David Smith, Detroit, USA
I have just moved to the USA from the UK. Here I have to have private medical insurance, pay for eye and dental care at much higher prices than the UK. The roads are poorly maintained and the street lighting inadequate. I have to pay high local taxes for amenities and I see homeless people everywhere. Petrol is very cheap, but given a choice I know what I would rather have. The people in the UK may just be shooting themselves in the foot. You can't have your cake and eat it! I am amazed that people can be so short-sighted, petrol prices are rising here, but no-one blames the Government.
David Smith, Detroit, USA

No fuel crisis in the Isle of Man despite prices being higher than in most parts of the 'adjacent island', Britain. Why did police not arrest slow drivers for obstruction on the M-ways and trunk roads? Why did the fat-cat oil bosses sit on their behinds and not insist the tankers go out? HM Government should have nationalised the oil companies at a stroke and put the army in charge of distribution.
Richard Banyard, Peel, Isle of Man

As I teacher I assumed that I was one of those services that was entitled to have enough petrol to be able to do my job. However I was turned away by my local garage as educational work was not on Mr Blair's list of essential services. How does he expect to keep his promise of no schools shutting when he doesn't deem teaching a necessary occupation? It seems to me that he is relying on the goodwill of a profession that he has insulted and ridiculed since coming to power.
Nicola Williams, Southend, UK

Tony Blair did the right thing not to give in to the protestors. The tax on fuel may be high, but look at the whole picture for a change. If the people in the UK would just stop for a moment and compare the total amount of tax we pay with other countries, then they will realise that overall tax in the UK is similar to the rest of Europe.
Xander Bikbergen, Ramsbottom, England

I run a small courier service that employs six people. If the protests had carried on for only a few more days I could have been forced to close for good. Six people and myself out of work and eleven very hard years of work down the drain. I am one of the people most effected by high fuel tax but I have already lost what may have been gained in any tax cut in just one day! The Government must reduce the tax but let us do it in the normal democratic way and not by protests, before we all suffer and end up with a depression let alone a recession.
Nick Talleyar, Stowmarket, UK


My UK life is ruined by moronic drivers speeding along city streets

Jamie, US/ UK
My UK life is ruined by moronic drivers speeding along city streets. How many of the people whining about high fuel prices drive more sedately to conserve fuel, I wonder? Pile on the taxes, I say, the higher the better. It's past time motorists paid the true cost of exercising their 'freedom' to drive.
Jamie, US/ UK

Having been living out of the UK for three years and in a country where leaded 4 star is 8 pence per litre, I can certainly sympathise with the Great British Public suffering from excessive taxation on fuel and then a spontaneous blockade by the HGV drivers. However, the 20th century love affair with the motor car will have to come to an end since the oil will eventually run out or attain price levels out of the reach of most ordinary people. The solution is vastly improved public transport and the political will to reduce exhaust emissions and pollution in general for the good of the planet and younger generations. Do we really want London or Manchester to reach the levels of smog pollution like Los Angeles or Houston?
Richard Smith, Caracas, Venezuela

Well, the trains have been a bit busier, and the conversation in the pub has been a bit more focussed, but otherwise I've noticed little difference. However, I didn't need to be surgically removed from a car in the first place. I would support a reduction in fuel taxation for those who really need it, but the majority of the population makes far too much use of cars anyway and should be taxed until they bleed.
Ross G, Sheffield, UK

My car has sat outside my house since Tuesday and my husband who is disabled has been a virtual prisoner since then as I have had no fuel to put in my car to take him out. Our car is on mobility and has to be paid for even if we cannot use it. I think allowances should have been made for people like us as well as the people on the list. I am lucky I can walk to where I want to go. Even so I had to take risks in leaving my husband on his own while I tried to do everyday things such as shopping.
J. Robertson, Birmingham, UK

All the garages that increase their fuel prices due to the current crisis should be named and shamed.
Gillian, Peacehaven East Sussex

Two days ago, a queue stretched at least 500 yards, all day, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the garage near my home. They had NO petrol and kept telling the motorists so. They took down the prices from the display, blocked off the entrance and exit, and still the queue stayed. No delivery was made! But today, what a difference. No queues at the two service stations near my home or in the next village. As much fuel as you want, all day. Lancashire was among the first to lose fuel and now seems to be among the first to get it back, at least in my town. In the next town, about 5 miles away, there are long queues. Very strange.
Marie Lewis, Lancashire, UK


I hope some of the people I saw riding their children's bikes this week will remember what it was like once they start using their cars again.

Steve Gale, UK
I'm an 'occasional' cyclist who has found the roads much better for cycle commuting this week. I hope some of the people I saw riding their children's bikes this week will remember what it was like once they start using their cars again.
Steve Gale, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

The latest idea to force tanker drivers to deliver fuel by threats of legal action smacks of the police state the UK is rapidly becoming. If China, N Korea or Cuba did this, the world would condemn them. It is a sad, sad day for the once "Great" Britain but it is ironically pleasing that a country can be brought to its knees by a relatively small number of committed people.
Ed Hodges, Preston UK

I'm neutral about the UK political parties since they are so similar, however who can have respect for the Tories when they can only criticise the government for not shining in their handling of this ransom-bid? The Tories have no suggestions and they wouldn't have handled this unprecedented incident any better.
Steve Dudman, Swindon, UK

I supported their action to blockade. It got Blair's attention. Talking to contacts all say they won't vote for him next time. Verdict: this government doesn't listen. It is fake and all smoke and mirrors.
Anna, UK

his protest has warmed the cockles of my heart! Finally, the British people are standing up to this increasingly dictatorial government. New Labour have so many seats that the power has gone to their heads. They have got into the habit of imposing their ideas and ignoring the opinions of the majority of British people. That is not democracy.
Anne Mosley, Dubai, U.A.E.

The peterol is freely available in our Village. The price, 89.9 p for unleaded peterol. All well come.
Syed K Shah, Brierfield, UK

I have been here in France throughout the French oil crisis and I am amazed at the reports that it will take 3 weeks to get back to normal in the UK. We were without fuel for a week - no fights, every service station allowed 100F of fuel to each customer. No shortages in the shops, no panic buying. And here, in a small village, we had petrol in our village pump only three DAYS after the blockades were lifted. Has the British trait for keeping calm in an emergency and good organisation evaporated with the fuel?
Anne Hodges, Landes region, France


Bloody poor show Britain!

Michael Denton, Saanichton, BC, Canada

I arrived in England for a 2 week holiday to help move my mother from Leeds to Hull. Because of your most stupid protests, I couldn't achieve my plans. No gas to get from London to the North and back. I turned around and came back to Canada after being there only 2 days. A ridiculous situation. I am furious about it all. And my 83 yr old mother was most upset. Bloody poor show Britain!
Michael Denton, Saanichton, BC, Canada

My husband converted our cellar beer distillery into a ethyl alcohol and has filed for a patent. He accidentally filled my lorry with a 4 kegs of beer. Next, the christening reception was cancelled but we decided to hold the ceremony in the neighbourhood swimming baths. Great fun. Then our cancelled wedding reception meant we had an extra day for our honeymoon... in traffic, but together and alone.
Martha Lewellen, Near Leeds, UK


Quite a nice little earner for the garages

Jennie Lloyd, The Vale of Glamorgan

I telephoned a few petrol staions, starting with my local one in St Athan, who I am a regular customer. I was told no petrol at all. I then drove all around Cardiff, without any luck at all. On my way home, I noticed a large queue in St Athan Esso, and joined it. The garage did have fuel, and the crafty thing they did that day was take down the illuminated price of petrol on the forecourt, not use the tills for a computerised receipt, instead one of the old fashioned manual machines for card payment. Lo and behold, I noticed they had increased the price to 89.9 per litre. What daylight robbery. The assistant there was even telling people who phoned up when I was there that they didn't have an ounce of fuel. Quite a nice little earner for the garage themselves, on our expense.
Jennie Lloyd, The Vale of Glamorgan

The last week has proved a little inconvenient at times, but through the vigilant management of fuel supplies by my local garage I have never been without fuel. The most stressful factor of the week has been the biased propaganda spewed out by the BBC. I have been incensed by the obvious and heavily weighted support that the BBC has shown the government. News coverage has been one sided and obviously intended to help bring this protest to an end.
Howard Davies, Llangollen, Wales

It is likely that we should take the news about the petrol stations being completely empty with a pinch of salt. We have been able to buy petrol from a local station throughout the 'crisis' albeit at a 20 limit. All but two of the workforce in my company managed to get into work during the week. Could it be that we have all been victims of a tiny bit of propaganda?
Steve Wilson, Ely, UK


Are these so called DRY garages telling us they're empty when they're not?

K. Dastur, UK
I pulled in to a BP garage on the A13 on Tuesday only to find a sign saying 'No Diesel'. However, I put the diesel pump in the car's tank and hey presto managed to get 18.00 of fuel. Are these so called DRY garages telling us they're empty when they're not?
K. Dastur, UK

I think what this 'crisis' has illustrated is just how selfish people are: panic buying of both food and petrol. It's the same 'me first' attitude over and over again. Even the people leading the blockades are being selfish. As far as I'm concerned, everyone in the country is in the same position, and like it or not, the money gets back to us in one form or other.
Edmond Yau, UK

I initially supported the blockades as I do think that petrol is expensive in the UK. However, as a Staff Nurse working in a large NHS Trust I now feel that they have made their point and the Prime Minister quite rightly has called for an end to their protest and for supplies to be allowed through. I support bringing in the Armed Forces where necessary as lives cannot be put at risk any longer. How would the protesters feel if a relative of theirs could not receive potentially life-saving treatment because of this action?
Louise, Sheffield, UK

I want a 100% pay raise, a 3 day week, 4 months paid holiday a year and a subsidised 4 bedroom house in Buckinghamshire. Can someone loan me a big truck please?
Steve Wilson, London


Instead of blind panic and chaos, the French people rationed their petrol, used their bikes and got on with their life

Becka Currant, Bradford, West Yorkshire
I have just returned from a holiday in France. It was touch and go as to whether we'd get enough fuel to drive from the Vendee to Cherbourg. However, instead of blind panic and chaos, the French people rationed their petrol, used their bikes and got on with their life. Not a single petrol station in the area we stayed in raised their prices and refills were limited to ensure everybody got some fuel. At the beginning of the crisis, doctors and nurses were assured supplies from stations which closed for business to non-essential services.
Becka Currant, Bradford, West Yorkshire

I've just watched the on-line footage of tankers leaving the refineries. The expression 'police state' springs readily to mind.
David Hollingworth, Cork, Ireland

I watched GMTV this morning featuring an interview with John Prescott. His arrogance was palpable, he was becoming aggressive with the interviewer and claimed he knew the thoughts and feelings of the people. Nonsense. The Government is so out of touch on this issue it really does beggar belief. When I roll up to yet another petrol station with no fuel, I don't blame the protesters, I blame the Government, completely, totally, absolutely and one hundred per cent.
Carl, UK

It's been nice to be able to walk to work this last couple of days without having to pass an endless line of one-person cars belching out pollution.
Steve Hodgson, Leeds, UK

I am an IT Contractor and I travel 100 miles to work on average, a day. I have enough fuel for the rest of this week and do not mind grounding myself in protest also. The Government has already made things hard for my trade but no one did much about it. So basically carry on protesting till your hearts content - I will.
Ben, Yorkshire, UK

I run my own business. We were just about to move to new offices and take on new staff. Now that is a bit of a joke as there is no way to guarantee people will be able to get to work. This crisis could have a very bad impact on my business but I am 100% behind it. Democracy is more important than capitalism and Blair is too blinkered to see that this is what is behind the current crisis. The actual tax issue is just a symptom of wider discontentment. The real issue is that people in this country are fed up with not being heard by their Government. Do not underestimate complaints over taxes Mr Blair, revolutions have been sparked off by just this issue, remember the Boston Tea Party...
Rebecca, Windsor, England


Being a student midwife I am currently on hospital placement and I have no petrol to travel to work or take my children to school

B Lambert, Runcorn, Cheshire
Being a student midwife I am currently on hospital placement and I have no petrol to travel to work or take my children to school, walking is out of the question as they are at a vast distance from where we live. I have just enough petrol to travel no more than three miles to the nearest garage to fill up when possible, or for an emergency visit to my local health surgery if any of my children are ill.
B Lambert, Runcorn, Cheshire

As a salesperson driving 1,200 miles per week, the shortage is causing a bit of a problem. By driving at no more than 55mph I have found my (diesel) car is able to average 57mpg instead of it's normal 39mpg giving an extra 200 miles per tank.
It's inconvenient, and the waiting at the fuel stations is a pain but .... a little pain now may be good for us all in the long-term.
Steve Jones, Lancashire


Everyone (bar a few) round here is driving slowly and sedately to conserve fuel

K. Wood, Chelmsford UK
Everyone (bar a few) round here is driving slowly and sedately to conserve fuel and yet still getting to work on time. If everyone drove at that speed all of the time we wouldn't need the tax reduction, everyone drive at 55mph max and suddenly its like the petrol coming down in price by 20%.
K. Wood, Chelmsford UK

I blew my nose upon returning home from work in the West End last night, and to my utter delight my bogies were not black. My bus journey to work this morning was slightly more packed than usual, but virtually traffic free. Walking around town on my lunch hour today I was not nearly run over once, which makes a nice change. The sooner our society stops depending on a stinking, antiquated, limited resource like oil and gets out of the petrol age the better.
Jamie, London, UK


My cousin's wedding is due Friday and no-one can get there

H Legg, Swansea, Wales
My cousin's wedding is due Friday and no-one can get there, again causing much heartache and distress for what should be one of the happiest days of their lives. I work in the Health Service and I really worry for those sick patients or relatives who cannot get the assistance they require. What will it take, someone to lose their life to show this has gone too far? We have seen what can be achieved but please, don't let the public suffer anymore.
H Legg, Swansea, Wales

We just don't realise how much we depend on fuel until it's all nearly gone. The Company that I work for are being forced to shutdown shop as diesel stocks for our fleet have now run dry. Myself, it is the same story, nobody can get to work, therefore nobody earns. Everybody has been 'panic shopping' for food at local supermarkets, there is no bread left on shelves - anywhere, this is crazy.
Don't get me wrong, i totally agree with the protests, pickets etc. But I cannot see Tony Blair backing down on this one, let alone John Prescott, his arrogance is only angering protestors that little bit more. Come on government, we have made our point, let's hear yours for a change! Carry on like this and you will be paying through your nose for dole fees and the amount of people unemployed will soar through the roof - sort it out - now for everyone sake!
Emma, North Wales


I find myself with all my employees off-hired

Rob Jones, Rhondda, South Wales
Since the blockades started on the weekend I have followed the news closely. The fact that the pumps have run out of fuel, and also no fuel is coming out of the refineries to supply industry has put a stop to the business that I run. I am a Heavy Plant Recruitment Manager, and as there is no diesel available to run the machines, I find myself with all my employees off-hired.
This means that thirty or so people are now sitting in their houses and not working on Construction sites as they should be. I am now doing nothing, as no-one can travel to work even if the machines could work.
With all this in mind, I am still in favour of the fuel blockades, if it means cheaper fuel for the public. It is time the Government listened to the British public, and took action to reduce the cost of fuel.
Rob Jones, Rhondda, South Wales

I have booked a vacation to Scotland (going there for the first time in my life and hoping to enjoy your great, and much advertised for, outdoors and am bound to leave for Edinburgh by KLM on Friday. But with a troubled mind: I will probably get stuck in Edinburgh, if I am able to get to the city from the airport, which is also becoming more and more of an awkward business, or, if I am 'lucky', in Inverness or even further to the North.
The travel insurance won't be paying any extra expenses for hotels in (expensive) Edinburgh as, I quote, "you knew how bad situations were in Scotland" but my cancelling insurance won't cancel the journey because, I quote, "there is no danger involved when travelling to the United Kingdom, as there is no war on"! So I will be there, on Friday, enjoying not the great outdoors, but the great chaos.
Els Kaszo, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Surely the idea is to help British businesses not put them out of business!

John Simpson, Tavistock, Devon
Whilst I support the general protest about fuel prices I don't think the current blockades are the way to go. My mail-order business is at a standstill, we have no deliveries and no collections. Surely the idea is to help British businesses not put them out of business!
John Simpson, Tavistock, Devon

I'm now on the bike, having gone out and bought a new one (the old one was falling to pieces), and the local supermarket is running low on fresh food. But this is a small price to pay if the Government finally starts to listen to the electorate.
Geoff, Bedfordshire, UK

I filled at the weekend before it got serious so I will probably get through it without running out. Regardless I am heartened by the protest. Its healthy to put serious pressure on governments. A people too meek and too subservient to government are headed for enslavement, these protests are good for democracy.
Judith, England

My husband and I have a small business in Hereford. Already we are suffering fuel problems with our suppliers not being able to deliver goods to us. And we are unable to reach customers with finished work.
As much as we all agree with the debate about the price of fuel, we consider the immediate action of these picketers who are at the forefront of this issue to be irresponsible - paying no consideration to many emergency services and bringing industry to a halt.
C Weaver, Hereford

One colleague is working from home today as he could not get any petrol. Another had run out on Monday and had to queue for half an hour to get some. Another tried to get some on Saturday but the station was out of unleaded. A couple of colleagues can come on their bikes. Luckily I got some on Friday so avoided the problem. By avoiding non-essential journeys it should be a few weeks before I need to refill.
Ian C, Hants UK

I work as a Field Service Engineer, driving a van around Central Scotland. The company I work for has now run out of diesel and I am now at home waiting for all this to end. Despite this I fully support the protesters and wish they eventually bring this government to their senses
Clive Sinclair, Glasgow


I have lost over 700 because of a cancelled holiday

Aynsley Cooper, Stoke on Trent
Enough is enough. This is a taxation issue, and the money has got to come from somewhere. Whilst we're on that subject, let's not forget that many agricultural operations are carried out with the benefits of rebated fuel oil. Most of us do not have that luxury. Point made, protesters, now leave it.
I am unable to get to work. I have lost over 700 because of a cancelled holiday, which was insured, but the insurer, unsurprisingly, will not compensate me. I've had quite enough of you, and you do NOT speak for me.
Aynsley Cooper, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

I am a driving instructor and I am unable to work because of this action. I dislike the fuel tax but I dislike more that someone else should deprive me of a living and that the police should connive with them to keep me out of work.
B F A Clinch, Shaftesbury


My wife and I are expecting our first baby in two and a half weeks - Is there going to be a midwife available to us?

Stuart, Bucks
My wife and I are expecting our first baby in two and a half weeks. Is there going to be a midwife available to us? I'm sure Mr Blair would have made sure that his wife was well looked after if this had happened when Leo was due. When will he listen to the people rather than telling the people. Isn't it about time that talks were started rather than "Bullying" the people who are making a stand. How else are we, the motorists, going to get our point across?
Stuart, Bucks

My wife and small daughter are on holiday in Devon with my mother-in-law. As a result of this protest, they are confined to their hotel and cannot enjoy Devon as they would wish. On top of that they have had to pay for their holiday which has been ruined.
I think Mr Blair and his cronies should start listening to the people who voted them in to their position. I have always voted Conservative and this just reinforces my political leaning towards Mr Hague.
Shaun Bryant, Bramley, Hampshire, UK


It's nice to see I'm not the only one who has enjoyed the last few days, quieter roads, cleaner air and less noise

Iain, UK
It's nice to see I'm not the only one who has enjoyed the last few days, quieter roads, cleaner air and less noise. The sight of all the petrol junkies queuing for their fix should set people thinking - sooner or later the oil will run out. Petrol duty should remain where it is or go higher when you consider the environmental costs to everyone. It's time we weaned ourselves off this addiction to the car. Give us good, cheap public transport and the truckers can sit there as long as they like.
Iain, UK

I am a driving instructor and whilst I agree that generally fuel prices are too high at the moment I would willingly pay 1-87/litre if I was that desperate. After three days of cancelling lessons so that I have enough fuel for a lady's driving test on Friday - I am at my wits end. If I go out of business due to my own incompetence then fair enough, but to be put out of business through mob rule just doesn't seem fair.
David Legg, Preston, Lancashire


I cycled to work today and the traffic in Croydon was just as heavy as usual

Mike Armstrong, Croydon UK
I cycled to work today and the traffic in Croydon was just as heavy as usual, so there really isn't a significant shortage.
Fuel prices are still not high enough to have any effect on the level of traffic. Even if petrol was taxed to the point where it was more than 5 per gallon it still wouldn't pay for the costs of motor traffic to the government.
Mike Armstrong, Croydon UK


My Grandmother has no means of getting any shopping until this is over

Paula, London, England
Yesterday morning I was late for work because I never realised that I was in a queue for petrol. I have had to take two of my friends to work with me due to them running out of petrol. I can't take my elderly Grandmother her shopping because I am running out of petrol.
My Grandmother has no means of getting any shopping until this is over (the buses in her area are now few and she is immobile), but she has the same view as I do - we must stand up to this greedy government. She will starve before giving in - and I am behind the protestors all the way.
Paula, London, England

The fuel protesters have caused me great inconvenience - as I run a company where my staff cannot get to work. Am I angry with them? NO. I TOTALLY AGREE with them - I will suffer the hardship of struggling to work on my bike because it's great to see the people rebelling - normally, we just roll over and take it.
Listen Mr. Blair - the country has had enough - can you not see that? Maybe the spin doctors are making it seem rosy for you - ditch them and get in touch with the people who elected you.
Neil Mc, Crawley, UK


It actually goes to show that most of these journeys are not essential

Mark Little, Newcastle
The fuel dispute has been wonderful! There are hardly any cars on the road anymore - thanks!! It is a pleasure to walk to work in the morning without choking on the fumes, having to wait for ages to cross the road and getting sprayed with water when its raining... It actually goes to show that most of these journeys are not essential and when they have to people can get to work without their cars.
Mark Little, Newcastle

The fuel crisis is actually creating some jobs. I know of one company director who is paying ten people to push his car to and from work each day. The people are earning money and he is getting to work in the same comfort as usual, except slower. Is this the silver lining we are always told to look for?
Ian Crisp, England


I was astonished to see a woman with a trolley piled high with assorted loaves of bread

Rosemary, Grimsby, Lincolnshire
I'm very fortunate that I live 10 minutes walk from work, but this morning I went in my car to my usual supermarket to top up on fruit etc as I do midweek.
I was astonished to see a woman with a trolley piled high with assorted loaves of bread. This at 8.00am. When she saw my wry smile she said "It's only bread love" to which I replied "You must have a very large family" and I wheeled off laughing.
The staff told me that people were stripping the shelves of bread, milk, flour, and candles etc. Why is it that a crisis brings out the worst in us?
Rosemary, Grimsby, Lincolnshire


It isn't OPEC collecting 62p a litre in tax!

Simon Hirst, Gloucester
So Mr Blair is blaming OPEC. I don't think so! It isn't OPEC collecting 62p a litre in tax!
Simon Hirst, Gloucester

I had to queue for 1 hour for petrol but I spent the time reading. It was a good hour which beat working. I support the protest and I am even considering going to Trafalgar Square this Saturday to join in the anti-tax rally.
Simon Trefner, UK

I filled up with petrol after waiting 45 minutes on Monday night and I still have 3/4 of a tank. However, my Father is very ill at present and all I can do is call him a few times each day as there is no petrol in the area and I can't get to see him without running low on fuel. All this aside, both of us support the protests as he runs his own business, fuel costs are crippling his income and I think it's about time the people of this country stood up for themselves for a change instead of just moaning about tax rises and meekly accepting them. I may run out of fuel by the end of this week and have to walk 6 miles to work, but if this makes the Government sit up and take notice for a change, I'm all for it!
Jill, Milton Keynes, UK

Manchester is dry. Funerals can't go ahead, blood supplies are depleting, our postal system is threatened, banks are beginning to worry about money supplies, shops are practically bereft of basic provisions. And more importantly, our hospitals, police and fire services are at crisis point. When will the Government start to take the British electorate seriously? I'm self-employed and the fuel shortage has already affected my business considerably, but I'm willing to stick it out while this protest is peaceful.
Emma Clarke, Manchester, England

I am an unusual breed - I own my own company and I am a life long Labour supporter. I speak to people every day across the spectrum from lorry drivers to managing directors and everyone supports the protest.
Graham Hall, Cheshire, England


I hope that Captain Blair takes notice of this Mutiny on the Britannia

Rod Maxwell, Stirlingshire, Scotland
My wife's car is scheduled to run out of fuel tomorrow morning which, given that she is self employed, means that she is temporarily out of business. However, given that fuel accounts for 25% of all her gross income, we do support the protestors as do the vast majority of other self employed people. I hope that Captain Blair takes notice of this Mutiny on the Britannia.
Rod Maxwell, Stirlingshire, Scotland

I have noticed that a few local garages in Sunderland have decided to charge 2.00 per litre for fuel and 3.50 for a loaf of bread. That's fair enough - after all it's a free market economy that we live in. Although, I will certainly not be purchasing fuel or anything else form these garages after the crisis has died down. What is happening to our country?
Ifaquar Shah, Sunderland, UK

I fully support the protesters in their stand against the Government but by inconveniencing the public they will not keep the sympathy vote for more than a week. I have just had to spend over a thousand pounds to transport my family to my wedding in Wales as it is the only way to get everybody across the country. I will almost certainly have to do without flowers, a hire car and a band as well. The protesters must look for ways to inconvenience the Government rather than the people if there is to be a real, long-term benefit.
Mike Barrett, Grays, England

This protest is childish and totally irresponsible. I am disabled and live alone and cannot walk far. The only contact I have with the outside world is through my car. I had to go to the hospital on Monday by taxi and train and can ill afford the fares. I believe very strongly that the police should move the protesters and charge them with obstruction of the highways. People will be killed soon because of this totally childish behaviour
Gwen Wilmore Barry, Wales


Will the Prime Minister be paying our mortgage for us?

Anne Gardiner, Cranfield, UK
My husband is unable to get to his job (night security guard)? Will the Prime Minister be paying our mortgage for us? Mr Blair doesn't live in the real world, it's about time that somebody put him straight.
Anne Gardiner, Cranfield, UK

The supermarket where my wife works has virtually no food stocks left. Panic buying has bumped sales up to pre-Christmas levels! I'm fully behind the protesters - taxation levels in this country have gone high enough on many things, fuel especially. It's time the consumer got a fair deal. Blair should back down, or resign. I have admired Labour's abilities on many fronts over the last few years, but find myself unable to vote for such an arrogant and out-of-touch party.
Ian Mills, Portsmouth, UK

My sister in law is christening her first baby on Saturday in Cheshire. Relations were coming from many parts of the country, e.g. Surrey and Ayrshire. We have enough petrol to travel from Ayrshire, were we live, to Cheshire, but not enough to get home. Others may not be able to travel at all. The petrol crisis is therefore threatening to ruin this important occasion. All parties involved in this dispute should reflect on their motives and the effects of their actions or inaction on others, remembering that we are all dependant on each other to make society work.
David G. Brown, Dunlop, Ayrshire, Scotland

I queued for 30 minutes on the M25 yesterday (Tues) trying to get into Clacket Lane services, which did have fuel. There are two lanes once off the slip road. One through road to the petrol and another to the car park if you wish to stop. The through road was blocked with lorries and the other road was empty. If you know the service area, you know you can drive round the back, on that second lane and approach the fuel area from there. This I did, once off the motorway and drove straight up to the pump. When I suggested to the assistant at the till that perhaps a sign on the slip road, "Cars this lane" would ease the considerable congestion on the M25 approaching Clacket, my suggestion was met negatively and with disdain (I'm being polite). My point is that the support for the blockades has spread to the situation where many people wish to cause as much disruption as possible, in indirect sympathy. This Government has a huge problem.
Trev, UK


If we cannot get into work who will look after the patients?

Carol Scott, England
I do agree that the price of petrol is dreadful, but my colleagues and I are intensive care nurses, and we need our cars to get to work. The winter pressures for beds start has started, and if we cannot get into work who will look after the patients?
Carol Scott, England

Once again, East Anglia is the forgotten corner of the country, with hardly a mention on the news. I have just driven home from Norwich to Newmarket - no garages open at all. Until London is affected, nobody in authority will accept a problem exists.
Brian Parsley, UK

I am a doctor working in the NHS. Due to this fuel crisis, people are unable to get to work and the emergency service is becoming compromised. I hope Tony Blair will take this into consideration or will he wait until people start to lose their lives because of this. I never thought Mr Blair was this narrow minded.
DR. Mander, UK

I waited 2 hours to fill my car up today in Chesterfield and I am 100% behind the protests. Motorists of all kinds should join in the protests. Show Labour that when people are unhappy with an unfair costs, the people of the UK will pull together and open their eyes.
Lee, UK


I think the protesters have made their point, they have proved that they have the power to cause disruption but enough is enough

Susan Palmer, East London
I think the protesters have made their point, they have proved that they have the power to cause disruption but enough is enough. It has to stop and normality must be allowed to kick in. Here in East London Tuesday pm, cars were queuing three rows deep causing obstructions to oncoming traffic, thus making other motorists sit in delays and using petrol. The local bus station has enough diesel until Friday. Brawls are breaking out as people with cans are pushing in to fill up in front of cars. As I write now, a station in Stratford has been re-fuelled and the queue goes back as far as the eye can see blocking off one lane and a bus stop. It is frightening. Let's get back to normality and deal with the issue at the next budget. Ironically the very people who agree that petrol is too high are queuing up anywhere and paying higher prices!!!!
Susan Palmer, East London

I appreciate the problems this is causing, but I've been thoroughly enjoying the last two days. I'm a cyclist, and I can get to work without risking my life for a change. Perhaps if we spend a few weeks with services running but petrol rationed on private cars, it might do us all a bit of good.
CNS, Durham, England

I work in Liverpool and would find it very difficult to use public transport, especially if the buses stopped working. Fortunately, I filled up with petrol at the weekend. However, I will need some more by Monday next week. I am giving lifts to colleagues who have run out of petrol. Even in this situation the protestors have my full support.
David Rigler, Chester, Cheshire


A man finished filling his car and got what looked like a large plastic beer keg out of the boot and proceeded to try and fill this up!

Jenny, Edinburgh, Scotland
The funniest thing I have seen was when going to put petrol in my car on Monday night (my mother is due to have an operation today, and has to be collected by car). I was sitting in the queue (for 20 minutes) when a man finished filling his car and got what looked like a large plastic beer keg out of the boot and proceeded to try and fill this up! Panic buying like this has just helped to contribute to the problems.
Jenny, Edinburgh, Scotland

I was shocked yesterday that panic buying had spread to my local Sainsbury's and that many of the aisles were empty. How does this bode for the future when in 10-15 years the oil runs out for good? Are there any contingencies in place? Are there any plans to enable the country (World) to survive without falling into anarchy? It is a scary thought!
Neil, London, UK

Our local petrol stations are all out of fuel, but I am 100% with the protestors. This episode has left me thinking who the hell does Blair think he is? If he actually orders the police and possibly the army to suppress the protests and act against the will of the majority, then in one stroke he has moved from being a democratic Prime Minister to a dictator.
Adam, Coventry, UK


I've had no problems whatsoever!

Carl Allan Roberts, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
I've had no problems whatsoever! I travel 100 miles to work every day and each petrol station I passed this morning had plenty of fuel with a moderate scattering of jolly motorists happily filling their cars up. I don't know what all the fuss is about!
Carl Allan Roberts, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I have just over 3/4 of a tank of fuel left and have been restricting journeys in order to conserve fuel. I have this morning just been to Waitrose and stocked up with my usual weekly shop - no problem. I have learnt however that my eldest son's school (5 miles away) is to close tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday as a direct result of the petrol shortage. It does make me cross though that whilst we are struggling to maintain a semblance of normality in these times, the lorry drivers are blocking routes in and out of London - where are they getting their fuel from?
Alison, Surrey, UK

It has been so heartening to see the famous British sense of fair play and consideration for all! People filling their tanks to the last drop and then filling petrol cans 'in case'. A supermarket stripped of milk and bread by 5 pm at night. Garage owners inflating pump prices to profit from the shortage. I hope we never have a REAL crisis.
Andy W. UK

I fortunately managed to fill my car up on Monday morning and queued for an hour and a half on Wednesday morning for 5 worth of petrol. I have enough left to get myself home tonight and am in the fortunate position where I am able to work from home - for the time being. I spent Monday and Tuesday evenings at the garage where a friend works - the situation was not helped by the fact that there was at least one "drive-off" and once case of people filling a can and walking away without paying. However the overwhelming message from everybody coming in is that they fully support the protest.
Peter Davies, Bedford, UK

I support the current protests on fuel prices wholeheartedly even though I am suffering pain due to the fact I live in a country area where there is no public transport available and the car for us is a necessity. I also have a disabled mother to look after and get around which in the current situation is very difficult. I think Mr Blair is living in a different world to the rest of us and it is high time he stopped ripping off the motorist. We don't mind paying our fair share, but enough is enough. He will DEFINITELY not get my vote at the next election.
Avril French, Basingstoke, England


If this action is not resolved soon, people will die

Brian, Boston, UK
Our large market town of Boston has run dry. I am a nurse at a busy hospital and many of the staff cannot get to work tomorrow, as there is no petrol to be had. Public transport around here is a joke, and if this action is not resolved soon, people will die. I understand the reasoning behind the protest and I for one do not enjoy being ripped off when I buy fuel but holding the country to ransom like this is not the answer - it amounts to terrorism. My wife is due to have our baby today. How the hell do I get her to hospital especially if the ambulances are affected?
Brian, Boston, UK

This evening I have been stood on a bridge over the M62, and saw what I believe to be a quite unique and amazing site. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that these people have the power to bring the country to its knees, it would be quite hilarious. The convoys of lorries are driving so slow, and blocking the entire motorway; lunatic drivers are wasting what little fuel they have by driving up and down. They are however, supporting a very noble cause. However, the public must realise that if tax on petrol is lowered we will pay somewhere down the line!
Zoe Wilson, England

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