MOTORISTS have been unable to buy petrol and diesel at most Oxfordshire filling stations, with the fuel crisis deepening. 

The majority of petrol stations had closed pumps last night, after a surge in demand from motorists worried about being left stranded.

The lack of fuel across the county has already hit businesses, taken taxi drivers with empty tanks off the road, and hit the delivery of food and essentials. 

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Petrol stations have been struggling to get fuel deliveries, due to a national shortage of HGV drivers, which has led to people panic buying, causing supplies to run dry.

Last night at least 12 filling stations in Oxfordshire declared they had no fuel.

Taxi companies were among those affected. Mohammed Niaz, director of Royal Cars, said: “You initially hear about these rumours and think it’s not going to happen in Oxford, but then you find it has run out and that’s when the panic kicks in.

“Some of our drivers have been caught out. We are trying to stay on top of it and inform our drivers if we see a station is open.

“In some cases, though, drivers have had no fuel, which causes big problems for them and our customers.”

Saj Malik, Oxford city councillor for Temple Cowley, is a taxi driver for Royal Cars.

He said: “Most taxi drivers are running around like headless chickens – it has not been a great day and let’s hope it improves soon.”

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At least 10 drivers were reported to have run out of fuel last night.

Oxford Mutual Aid, which delivers more than 400 food parcels a week by car to 400 households across the county, has also been affected.

Muireann Meehan Speed, Oxford Mutual Aid’s chair of directors, said: “There are nearly 100 routes covered every week.

The lack of fuel is putting a serious strain on us, and we are really struggling.

Every day we are having to make numerous adjustments just to get the basics covered.”

A driver for Waitrose in the county, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The fuel shortage means we have to wait longer to get fuel, due to queues at petrol stations, which then leads to delayed deliveries.

"But all of our vans have been able to go out.”
One Didcot resident, who also asked to remain anonymous, visited three petrol stations before finding any fuel.

She said: “Filling station staff are without fail polite, patient, and well organised.

“I’m glad of the rationing which is taking place, because it keeps the inevitable queues moving.”

Fears have also been sparked that the lack of fuel will have a negative impact on the emergency services.

Unions are calling on healthcare staff and other key workers to have priority access to the fuel.

Read here: Oxfordshire fuel shortage updates

The British Medical Association said that, as pumps run dry, ‘there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs.

Due to robust continuity plans, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has not been affected by the fuel shortage and always maintaining stock levels at over 80 per cent.

Oxfordshire County Council refused to comment on the crisis.