Fuel crisis: Petrol shortage was a result of Government switch to greener fuel, official figures say

At the beginning of September, the Government introduced E10 fuel as the standard unleaded petrol.
At the beginning of September, the Government introduced E10 fuel as the standard unleaded petrol.

September fuel crisis was the UK Government's switch to greener petrol Industry chiefs have revealed.

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Industry chiefs have revealed that a major factor behind the September fuel crisis was the UK Government's switch to greener petrol. The shortage resulted in widespread panic buying and a drought across the country.

Despite a shortage of HGV drivers, fuel deliveries to petrol stations stayed consistent over summer months, official figures say.

At the beginning of September, the Government introduced E10 fuel as the standard unleaded petrol.

Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson told the Telegraph that stations have been “emptying our tanks of E5, the old fuel, as fast as we could to get ready for E10 (and) we had all run our petrol stocks down”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it is “factually incorrect” that the swap from E5 to E10 fuel has exacerbated the petrol supplies issue.

The fuel, which has a higher ethanol content, was rolled out to forecourts from September to help cut emissions from vehicles currently being driven.

But Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson told the Telegraph that stations have been “emptying our tanks of E5, the old fuel, as fast as we could to get ready for E10 (and) we had all run our petrol stocks down”.

However Mr Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The swap over to E10, ethanol 10, which has happened pretty much automatically in the background, most people won’t have noticed it unless they have a very old vehicle which requires E5 which will still be available.

“Actually that changeover is all the way through to November. It doesn’t have to happen instantaneously.”

And he added that smaller retailers represented by the association “don’t even have to do this the swap over”.