Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Details of the steps to ensure essential users are given access to fuel were announced by trade and industry secret...
Details of the steps to ensure essential users are given access to fuel were announced by trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers today.

People in 29 priority service categories will be able to obtain fuel from 298 designated petrol stations throughout the country.

These arrangements will come into operation during the day. These essential users will be able to go to one of the 298 petrol stations which will be manned by local authority staff and there will be police present. On production of identification and occupation/purpose, they should be able to obtain fuel for their vehicles.

The oil companies inform us that these 298 sites are being stocked urgently. As this is completed, the oil companies will then stock the remaining approximately 2,200 which are designated sites. Use of these approximately 2,200 petrol stations will not be confined to essential users.

Mr Byers said: 'We would ask members of the public to understand that priority must

be given to these services, which are essential to the life of the country. We would ask that only those who meet the criteria we have set out today go to the 298 designated stations.

'We hope to restore a normal service as soon as possible but it is inevitable that the pace at which petrol stations are re-stocked will vary region by region depending on the volume of fuel coming out of the refineries in each region. A return to full stocks will not happen overnight. We would ask people to be patient until normal services are resumed.'

As well as the arrangements outlined today, there is a group of priority fuel-users who regularly obtain fuel from depots rather than public petrol stations. These organisations should continue to use their depots to access fuel as normal. The oil companies are also stocking these depots as a matter of urgency.


Information can be obtained from the website,, main police stations, local authorities and health service and other major employers. The police will post up outside police stations the list of the 298 priority filling stations and guidance on priority purposes.

The 29 priority categories are users involved in:

1. Performance of functions of the police or the armed forces, or operation of the fire services.

2. Operation of health or social services.

3. Manufacture, processing, storage, packaging, distribution or sale of food including milk, milk products, animal feeding stuffs, pet foods or salt.

4. Movement or slaughter of livestock for the production of food or of animal feeding stuffs or for veterinary reasons.

5. Essential operations at nuclear sites.

6. Maintenance of water supplies or operation of sewage and drainage services.

7. Production, supply, distribution or transmission of solid or liquid fuel, or gas or electricity in the course of business, or provision of emergency services to consumers of such fuels.

8. Operation of buses, railways, tramways, docks or harbours.

9. Operation of any of the following transport services -

(1) coach or bus services (excluding excursions or tours);

(2) services provided by employers of labour for taking their employees to or from their work by means of vehicles adapted to carry eight or more passengers;

(3) airport bus services.

10. Operation of air traffic control, air navigation and civil airline services or air marine safety or navigational services.

11. Marine safety, navigational (including pilotage), shipping and ferry services.

12. Search and rescue services including coastguard and lifeboat services.

13. Production or distribution of medical or pharmaceutical supplies.

14. Operation of postal and telecommunications services (including broadcasting, newspaper production and distribution).

15. Transmission of money or of social security and other essential official payments or documents.

16. Movement or delivery of cash or cheques.

17. Operation of payment, clearing or settlement services.

18. Agriculture or horticulture for the production of food or animal feeding stuffs.

19. Operation of fishing vessels.

20. Manufacture or distribution of ice or dry ice for use in the food trades.

21. Essential central government and local government functions.

22. Administration of justice, including the operation of prison services and electronic tagging services.

23. Environmental and environmental health services and related emergencies.

24. Funeral services including cremation.

25. Refuse collection and disposal.

26. Industrial processes involving hazardous or radioactive substances, including transportation.

27. Veterinary services.

28. Operation (including heating) of special schools or colleges for the handicapped.

29. Foreign diplomatic missions for essential purposes.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.