United Kingdom

Driver pulls knife during forecourt row as motorists resort to filling up with the wrong fuel

A driver pulled a knife on another motorist as large queues continued to form at petrol stations amid the ongoing fuel crisis.

Footage of a man in Welling, south east London, appeared to show him shouting at another driver and brandishing a weapon as tensions boiled over.

The video then shows the car ramming into the alleged knifeman, who is then carried for several yards on the bonnet.

The Metropolitan Police said they had been called at 2.37pm on Monday to a disturbance in Bellegrove Road, Welling, but "no trace" of either vehicle was found. 

A spokesman said: "Officers attended and found no trace of either vehicle. No injuries were reported and no suspects were identified.

"We are aware of footage online which appears to show the incident and will review this as part of our ongoing enquiries."

The HGV driver shortage has seen hundreds of people resorting to filling up with the wrong fuel out of desperation, as figures showed that 90 per cent of petrol stations had run out of fuel in some areas.

The AA said that 250 drivers had to be rescued by its specialist 'fuel assist' team on Saturday and Sunday, compared to around 20 in normal circumstances. 

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Drivers also need to be careful because we have seen a dramatic rise in misfuelling compared to last weekend. This in turn unnecessarily reduces the fuel available as the whole tank has to be drained before refilling with the correct fuel.”

He added: “For the vast majority of drivers there is no need to rush to the pumps, and we urge people to only fill up when essential. There is no need to top up ‘just in case’.”

Despite the rush for fuel, which has seen large queues across the UK and brawls on forecourts, Mr King said he believed the problem would disappear in the coming days.

He said: “Millions of drivers changed their refuelling habits this weekend but once a tank is full it can’t be topped up. This short-term increase in demand should slow and allow forecourts time to restock.”

Fuel industry needs to get its 'house in order'

The news came as the Chair of the Transport Select Committee said that the fuel industry needs to get its own house in order rather than “constantly asking the Government to step in”.

While 150 soldiers are currently on standby to help drive fuel to forecourts, MP Huw Merriman said the problem comes from the industry itself.

Speaking to the Today programme, he said: “Let's just remember here, the Government doesn't drive the drivers to the forecourt.”

“This is a private industry, I remember back in 2016 asking them what they were going to do to fix their industry, why is it that only one percent of all drivers are women, why is it that only two per cent of all drivers are under 25, why is the average age 55. 

“Let’s now hear from the industry about what they’re going to do to get their own industry in order rather than just constantly asking the Government to step in.”

Average petrol prices at UK forecourts rose from 134.86p per litre on September 20 to 135.19p per litre on Monday, amid the fuel shortage at filling stations.

The figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy show the average price of a litre of diesel rose from 137.35p to 137.95p over the same period.

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