Data shows Newcastle petrol shortages started weeks before panic buying

Shortages started in London and spread to other parts of the country

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Fuel shortages in the North-East had been building weeks before public panic buying started late last month.

New Government data shows the stocks of petrol and diesel at the average forecourt, as a percentage of capacity.

Even on September 9 2021, capacity at the North East's petrol stations was down at 42%.

It hovered around that number for two weeks before being taken to a new low as the public rushed to the pumps.

On September 23 the figure was 39% and, just 24 hours later, dropped down to 28%.

At its lowest, on September 27, capacity at pumps was just 19%.

After that date levels started to slowly climb and had returned to 33% on the last day of recorded data, on October 3.

National data shows that the crisis started in London and the South-East before taking hold of other areas of the UK.

A capacity of just 35% was recorded in London as early as September 6.

The East and South-East recorded the lowest national figures on September 25 at just 12%.

The data is based on end-of-day stock figures at about 4,500 filling stations, representing 80% of the market.

Last week the Government deployed almost 200 military tanker personnel, 100 of whom are drivers, to provide temporary support to relieve pressure on petrol stations and address the shortage of HGV drivers.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “We have taken immediate actions to help increase local fuel supplies across the UK and now the situation at forecourts is continuing to improve, with demand stabilising and forecourt stock levels trending up.

“The Government and industry continue to work together closely to respond to the current situation and we encourage the public to buy fuel as normal.”