More drivers running out of fuel on A12

DRIVERS on the A12 are breaking down having run their tanks dry because they want to avoid filling up, it has been claimed.

Jo Thewlis

DRIVERS on the A12 are breaking down having run their tanks dry because they want to avoid filling up, it has been claimed.

Essex Police have seen the number of breakdowns on the route soar, with at least 25 cases of motorists running out of fuel during the past three months.

Pc Allan Discombe, from the force's Road Policing Unit, said: “Drivers are obviously not paying attention to fuel warning lights.


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“Some are relying on the on-board computer telling them how many miles they can travel but these are not 10 per cent accurate and some drivers are coming to a halt before they have completed their journey.

“It is especially relevant during times of bad weather when there may be delays and more fuel will be used.”

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But Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said the rise could be down to drivers cutting costs, as the price of fuel has soared by 27 per cent compared with this time last year.

He said: “There are drivers who are trying to get as much as they can out of their tanks.

“The simple fact of the matter is people have been used to putting �20 or �20 worth of fuel in their tank but that amount of money doesn't go anywhere near as far as it used to.”

The average price for petrol in the UK now is 112 pence per litre, edging closer to the highest ever level of 119.7 pence.

Last year, the AA dealt with 22,000 call outs for motorists who had run out of gas.

Mr Bosdet added the cold weather could also account for the rise in fuel-related breakdowns, as drivers are caught in delays or severe driving conditions and do not have the fuel to make it home.

“People have been trying to go as far as they can then running into problems,” he said. “People are also getting stuck in traffic or trying to make it home.”

Essex Police issued a warning to motorists taking the risk that it could be a false economy.

Roadside recovery could cost more than �100 and if drivers abandon their cars on major roads, police will arrange for the vehicle to be removed.

Jo.thewlis@eadt.co.uk

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