RMI Petrol has called for an urgent meeting with Secretary of State Ed Davey to discuss the current fuel crisis and medium and long-term strategy for the forecourt industry.

In a letter sent to Davey yesterday, RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson said independent petrol retailers have had their confidence abruptly shaken by the government’s perceived inability to manage the issue of a potential strike by Unite-affiliated tanker drivers.

“It is now very clear to the public and to the media that government created a crisis out of a concern, with some ill-conceived recommendations and complete lack of engagement with industry to prepare for possible strike action,” wrote Madderson.

He asked that the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) urgently connects with industry to review the UK’s Energy Resilience for road transport fuels, adding that it needs a complete overhaul with regard to forecourts.

“This should provide an objective analysis of requirements for the medium and long term,” said Madderson. “This analysis must include the National Emergency Plan – Fuels, as at present, our retailers believe it is not fit-for-purpose in terms of forecourt operations.

“It is hoped that the plan does not have to be effected next week due to industry action as the flaws will be readily observed by all,” he added.

Madderson enclosed evidence of 30-50% of independent forecourts unable to replenish their fuel stocks on Sunday April 1, as well as extracts of emails from retailers in different regions siting problems of delivery carry-overs.