Fuel problems ease as police say tankers not disrupted by protests

Police at Essex fuel depot

Police say the fuel protests in south Essex have not disrupted supplies since the weekend. - Credit: PA

Fuel deliveries across East Anglia appeared to be getting back to normal on Tuesday as Essex Police said there had been no further reports of disruption from protesters at oil refineries on the Thames estuary.

Supplies in some garages in rural parts of Suffolk were said to be "a bit tight" - but tankers were expected to fill them up within hours.

And an Ipswich taxi firm had managed to keep its vehicles moving by changing the way its drivers operated to ensure they always had enough fuel in their tanks.

A spokesman for Essex Police said they had not been aware of any further incidents at the refineries since the force had issued its last update on the situation on Sunday at which point 461 people had been arrested.

That will be a relief to drivers who have found fuel supplies had been patchy over the last fortnight as members of the "Stop Oil Now" pressure group had started blockading fuel terminals from the start of the month.

A spokesman for Shotter's garage in Waterloo Avenue, Leiston said it had good supplies of diesel but four-star was "a bit tight" - but that was because an expected delivery had been delayed because of a problem with the tanker.

He said: "We did lose a delivery at the beginning of last week which was a bit of a problem but our other deliveries came as normal so it hasn't been too bad. We always keep a bit of fuel in reserve in case the emergency services or someone with a really pressing need comes along."

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There was a similar story at Church Garage in Snape where they were awaiting a delivery of petrol although its diesel stocks were holding up well.

Ipswich-based Cabs Smart taxis had managed to keep operating after drivers were told to change their fuel-purchasing habits.

General manager Ian Fountain said: "Taxi drivers do sometimes leave it until the last minute to fill up - and we did get one or two caught out at the start of last week like that.

"But we told them to make sure they kept topping up, and we kept telling each other where there was fuel available so we really didn't have too many problems.

"I haven't heard of any more problems over the weekend so that looks like good news."