The Daily Mail reports on record petrol and diesal prices and panic buying caused by the Grangemouth refinery dispute:
Panic at the pumps: Soaring petrol prices and fuel rationing introduced to prevent garage droughts
By RAY MASSEY and PAUL SIMMS -
Last updated at 01:01am on 24th April 2008
Petrol prices around Britain are continuing to soar as the strike threat to supplies from one of our biggest oil refineries intensifies.
More than a quarter of filling stations have increased their unleaded prices and four out of ten have raised their diesel prices since the Grangemouth crisis began on Friday.
Talks at the oil refinery near Falkirk continued yesterday in the hope of averting a planned weekend strike which could lead to fuel shortages.
Britain's oil producers said there had already been some "panic-buying" on Sunday and Monday causing up to 100 filling stations to run out.
Demand for unleaded fuel has risen by 68 per cent, according to the UK Petroleum Industry Association, a trade body for the industry.
Demand for diesel was up 40 per cent, it added.
To protect supplies, some garages have introduced unofficial "rationing", limiting, limiting customers to £10 of fuel.
Petrol firms were yesterday accused of profiteering after fuel prices rose again across the country.
It now costs £8 more to fill up a typical family car than it did a year ago.
The big companies such as Shell and BP have denied the charge, insisting that prices are rising because of a volatile market.
Brendan McLoughlin, founder of the Aldershot-based website Petrol-Prices.com said: "There are examples of profiteering but they do stick out.
"Motorists must shop around and stay vigilant."
The website's price-watch tracker showed that nearly half of Shell stations (46.25 per cent) had recently increased the price of unleaded petrol, with 62.41 per cent increasing the cost of diesel.
Garages have been urged not to cash in on fears of fuel shortages if the strike at Grangemouth goes ahead.
The advice comes after a garage in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's own Kirkcaldy constituency in Fife was revealed to be charging £1.45 a litre for diesel on Monday, while unleaded petrol was at £1.25.
Yesterday, customers were limited to £10 worth of fuel each, with prices at £1.30 a litre for diesel and £1.20 for petrol.
Business Secretary John Hutton said that if the strike did go ahead, the Government would try to minimise disruption.
He added: "Everyone can help in this by just buying fuel as normal - buying extra causes problems which would otherwise not exist.
What exactly is the useless Labour Minister John Hutton going to do to "minimise disruption" ?