Diesel shortage UK: Is there a diesel shortage, UK diesel prices, and why did the shortage start?

Motorists are queuing at pumps across the country, with some stations saying there is no diesel to be had.

Following on from the widespread fuel shortages of last year and rising petrol costs, despite the recent fuel duty cut, British motorists are now also facing a diesel shortage, with queues at pumps being reported across the country.

As drivers search for petrol stations with remaining diesel, here’s what sparked the diesel shortage.

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Is there a diesel shortage?

The areas most affected by diesel shortages are in the southeast of England, but motorists have reported not being able to find diesel at fuel stations in regions such as Birmingham, the Black Country, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire. This shortage is on top of increasingly high prices for both diesel and petrol over the last few months.

UK diesel prices

As of April 4th, the average diesel price in the UK for 2022 so far is 153.17p per litre, up from 136.05p in 2021, according to RAC Fuel Watch.

A car fills up with diesel at a service station on March 31st in Telford, United Kingdom. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Here are some ways to find the cheapest fuel in your area, and also make your fuel last longer.

Why is there a diesel shortage in the UK?

Climate activism groups Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have organised protests and demonstrations designed to block key terminals across the country in protest of the environmental impact of oil and gas. The disruptions began on Friday April 1st and have lasted five days so far.

The protests have been centred around oil terminals and refineries across the UK. On Friday and over the weekend, a site in Erdington was blockaded by environmental campaigners. Further protests took place at Tamworth and across the UK. The blockades meant petrol and diesel meant for forecourts either didn't make it or was delayed, causing the ongoing diesel shortage at the pumps.

This comes after diesel supplies were already limited, with global stocks dropping to the lowest level since 2008. The conflict in Ukraine also exacerbated the situation still further.

Petrol stations without diesel have begun to put up signs, warning motorists about the lack of supplies in an attempt to prevent long queues from building up.

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