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Council Services:

Fuel shortages

All organisations rely to some extent on fuel; whether it is for getting staff to work, distributing products or providing services.

The availability of fuel within the UK is generally very good; however there have been brief disruptions to supply on both a regional and national basis.

A disruption could be caused by a number of factors, including scarcity of supply, a technical problem with part of the fuel supply infrastructure, industrial action or public protest. In the event of such a disruption to supply, it is also possible that stocks could be further depleted through increased panic buying.


In September 2000 blockades at key oil distribution points caused nationwide fuel shortages for over 1 week. Threats of similar action in August 2005 led to panic buying which caused localised disruptions across the country.

The industrial action taken by Shell tanker drivers in June 2008 had a widespread effect on fuel distribution throughout the UK resulting in some filling stations running out of fuel.

Some of the impacts of a fuel shortage are:

  • Public and commercial filling stations exhausted within 48 hours
  • Up to 10 days to return normal supplies

Some of the consequences of a fuel shortage are:

  • Inability to provide essential services to vulnerable people
  • Local and national economic impact
What you could doWhat are we doing in Lincolnshire?
• Maintain your vehicle to ensure that it is as fuel efficient as possible.
• Minimise journeys during fuel shortages (essential journeys only).
• Consider other means of conserving fuel, such as car sharing, walking or cycling.
• Identification of filling stations for essential fuel users such as emergency service vehicles which links to the national emergency plan for fuel.
• Production of multi-agency plans to manage a fair distribution of fuel to the public when it is in limited supply.

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Last updated: 3 August 2017

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