Due to talk of a strike by fuel tank drivers and comments from UK officials, including alarmists comment from MPs, have ignited a wave of UK motorists got caught up in a panic buying frenzy in many parts of the country.
The panic, which some critics say is unwarranted and premature, has led to police demanding petrol stations in some parts of southwest England be closed due to unmanageably long queues and violence. Sales of petrol have risen by 170 per cent , Protesters claimed that forecourts and oil firms were profiteering.
In March 2012 Unite trades union warned it was considering a strike over health and safety standards. Unite represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, who deliver fuel to 90% of Britain's forecourts.
Although no strike took place, Government action precipitated panic-buying and a woman was very seriously injured after following a minister's advice to store extra petrol. ref WkiPedia
Francis Maude had told drivers that they should make sure they have enough fuel in their vehicles and "maybe a little bit in their garage as well in a jerry can".
A woman suffered 40% burns when she accidentally set fire to herself after transferring petrol in her kitchen at home.
Police in southwest England asked many petrol stations to close temporarily amid violent and desperate panic buying by hysterical and fear-crazed motorists (A phenomenon called 'fuel rage' by police and forecourt staff).
An AA statement said: "A lady about 75 was seen filling up 20 empty one-gallon paint tins with plastic lids and also a tray of jam jars in her boot with petrol.” The incident was in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
One motorist tried to fill a pair of 1 gallon glass flagons with petrol in South Wales. The nozzle of the pump was, in fact, bigger than the neck of the flagon, and the fuel was spilt over the surrounding ground.
It was estimated that the panic buying will bring in £32 million in fuel excise duty.
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