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Stratford petrol stations call for calm from motorists

PETROL stations in the Stratford district are continuing to urge drives not to panic-buy fuel as they expect the current shortages to end soon.

Half the garages contacted by the Herald said that they are finding their fuel is being delivered, only for the stock to be drained by the following day, sometimes within a morning.

Deliveries are still due, and forecourt managers believe, provided customers buy sensibly, there should be enough to go round.

Essar in Henley, which has an automatic forecourt, said: “There isn’t actually a need to be panic buying. The problem is that when you drive past so many filling stations that are out of fuel, and you’ve got half a tank or a quarter of a tank, you think, ‘I better pull up, like everyone else’, and that creates panic.”

Andrew Whitmore, manager of the Shell filling station in Wellesbourne, said: “It’s selling very fast when we get some. We have unleaded, but my diesel delivery came at seven this morning, and it ran out about one o’clock.”

Mr Whitmore added: “How many of the cars that have filled up over the past three days don’t do more than 500 miles in a week? Whereas I’ve had commercial customers coming in today who do a couple of hundred miles in a day and can’t fill their tanks up.”

Calling for calm, he said: “Just buy what you need. You haven’t got to stockpile, there’s enough to go around.”

While the Morrisons on Alcester Road had to close after a weekend of panic-buying, the Texaco on Alcester Road, Stratford, said they have fuel in backstop and a next-day delivery arrangement, and the Shell on the A46 services outside Alcester is also stocked.

Meanwhile environment secretary George Eustice has insisted there is no need for shortages at pumps.

He said: “There isn’t a shortage of fuel. The cause of these current problems is that panic-buying episode and the most important thing is for people to start buying petrol as they normally would.

“The sooner people do that the better. The only reason we don’t have petrol on the forecourts is that people are buying petrol when they don’t need to.”

Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson said: “If [drivers] start buying in their normal quantities, £20 worth, 20 litres to fill up every week, we could see by the end of this week some return to normality – it won’t be perfect, but some return.”

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