Chichester taxi driver had to turn down customers after running out of petrol - 'I don't know when we got so selfish as a nation'

"I don't know when we got so selfish as a nation."

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 5:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 6:46 pm

Those were the words of a Chichester taxi driver, who wasn't able to work on Saturday — the busiest day of the week — due to the national fuel shortages.

Gavin Don said: "People are panicking. There's no need to panic.

"I couldn't work at the weekend because I couldn't get any fuel. I tried four or five times.

Chichester taxi tank. Photo: Kate Shemilt

"It took too long so I gave up, as I had jobs to go to.

"I decided not to use last little bit up but, luckily, I got some Sunday evening from Tesco's.

"Saturday is our busiest day of the week and I couldn't work."

Mr Don said emergency and care workers should get priority.

He added: "People are filling up their vehicles and their cans. Just give someone else a chance.

"A driver had to go home today. He does West Sussex work. He tried to get some [petrol] but everywhere has sold out.

"Tesco is open but has no diesel. Sainsbury's is closed. The ones on the Bypass have closed. Lavant and Birdham garages have closed. They will be closed until they get a delivery."

Observer readers have also been having a say about the fuel shortages.

Julia Blalock said she ordered a taxi but the driver was unable to come 'because they had no petrol'.

Trevor Harris, the former manager of Tesco Petrol Station in Fishbourne Road East, said it was closed earlier today (Tuesday).

He said he was told that a tanker would be delivering fuel later today but 'it’s only a quarter full, so diesel will only last a hour' .

Mr Harris said long queues were forming on the A27, in anticipation of the delivery.

"Just been out to every station in Chichester, all closed. I'm leaving it to when I need it," wrote Caroline Gibbs on Tuesday (September 28).

Mazz Tupper, whose vehicle requires diesel, said he had to get a bus to work today.

Katherine Campbell said petrol stations are being sensible about the situation, adding: "Most supermarket petrol stations I've been told are closing when they've reached a certain level so that they keep reserves always in for emergency vehicles and staff members, so then [they] can always get to work.

"It's not because they've run out of fuel."

Laura Rosinska said she managed to get at Sainsbury’s at 6.30am on Monday, adding: "Minimal queue .. perfect!"

In Midhurst and Petworth, there was no diesel or petrol at the filling stations on Monday afternoon, according to reader Paul Du Heaume.

Judi Lion added: "No petrol at Esso or BP around midday in Midhurst. Even a little garage tucked away has no fuel. Thankfully I don’t have work to go to and am running on my Welsh petrol."

Cheryl Hood was concerned ahead of her final school run as she was out of petrol, whilst her husband was also out of fuel in his work van. "What are we supposed to do?" she asked.

Max Mordle wrote: "I’ve got two days worth of fuel in my work van. Each time I try to get some for rest of the week I can’t as either ran out or I have to wait in the road which I won’t do."

Jane Smith said they had 'plenty of fuel' at Liphook services northbound on the A3, adding that staff were 'very well organised'.

Have you struggled to get fuel and/or been turned down by taxi drivers in the Chichester district? Let us know by emailing [email protected]