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RAC still getting FIVE TIMES number of breakdown calls due to people running out of fuel

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While fuel stations in some parts of the UK are starting to see a return to normal supplies, motoring organisation the RAC say this is not the case in all parts of the country.

Commenting on the current fuel delivery situation, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “While the fuel delivery situation continues to improve in many areas, that’s sadly not the case right across the country. In particular, those drivers that rely on independent forecourts – especially where there aren’t any supermarkets selling fuel – may still be struggling to fill up or be faced with queues.

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“Sadly, smaller petrol stations appear to have been hit particularly hard by so many people refuelling over the weekend and draining their stocks. As their supply chains aren’t as robust as the larger retailers’ many are still struggling to get the deliveries they so desperately need. We know that while these independents don’t sell as much fuel as the supermarkets and oil-company run forecourts, they are still very important to drivers.

“RAC data confirms that nationally things are improving, but are not yet back to normal. Yesterday our patrols still dealt with nearly five times the number of out-of-fuel breakdowns that they would typically attend. In contrast, on Monday when the problem was at its worst they attended 13 times more than on a normal day.”

Meanwhile, with reports of drivers filling containers and even plastic bottles during the worst of the fuel delivery crisis, the RAC is informing drivers of the law around storing fuel at home.

The RAC is reminding people of the laws around storing fuel (Image: RAC)

While the law says you can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home without a licence, that doesn’t mean you should in the current situation. Stockpiling fuel at home when fuel deliveries are disrupted only makes it more difficult for others to get the petrol or diesel they need and homeowners may be putting themselves and others at risk from fire.

What does the law say?

An individual is allowed to store up to 30 litres of petrol without a special licence. There is, however, no specific legal requirement on the storage of diesel in your home.

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How should petrol be stored?

Petrol must be stored in the right container: always use proper container that is designed for use with petrol, and make sure it has a tight-fitting cap. You’re allowed to store up to 10 litres in a plastic container, up to 20 litres in a metal ‘jerry’ can and up to 30 litres in a demountable fuel tank, such as from a small boat. Storing petrol is a fire risk, so keep it in a secure outbuilding – like a shed or garage – that is away from any sources of ignition and is cool and well ventilated. Never store it outside or inside your house, and of course keep it well out of the reach of children and pets. While diesel is not flammable like petrol, it can still pose a danger, so it’s advisable to follow the same steps.

How long can I keep fuel for?

Petrol has a shelf-life of around six months if stored in a sealed container at 20 degrees – or just three months if kept at 30 degrees. The more it’s exposed to heat, the more quickly it will go off. If the petrol is contaminated in any way, the quality will start to fall away sooner.

The RAC’s view:

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RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Just because it’s legal to store up to 30 litres of petrol at home, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do when so many drivers have been struggling to get the fuel they need to go to work and carry out their important daily tasks. Those who need to should follow the law carefully to keep themselves, their families and neighbours safe. Petrol should always be kept in the proper containers in an outbuilding and never left outside.”

(Lead image: RAC)

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Education

“Stuck in a catch-22”: parents drive their children to school because they are concerned about traffic

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New polling data released for Living Streets’ Walk to School Week (16-20 May 2022) finds that traffic is one of the biggest barriers to children walking to school, with 17 per cent of parents in Wales naming it as a reason their child doesn’t walk.

With over 460,000 pupils in Wales, it would mean tens of thousands of them are being denied the physical and social health benefits of being more active.

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Schools being too far away from home (18%) and cars parked on pavements (17%) were also barriers for Welsh parents.

The latest data suggests just 50 per cent of primary school aged children in Wales walk to school.

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets said: “We’re stuck in a catch-22 where families see driving to school as the safest way to protect their children from traffic.

“Leaving the car at home will reduce chaos and road danger around the school gates. It’s also a great way for children to learn about road safety in a real life setting and build their confidence in managing risk.

“Walk to School Week is an excellent opportunity for families to give walking to school a go and reap the health and social benefits of moving more.”

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Living Streets works with schools, local authorities and parent groups to help improve the walk to school.

Stephen Edwards continues: “We want to enable as well as encourage more families to walk to school. We’re here to help parents who are worried about safety around their child’s school. Car-free zones, 20mph limits and better crossings can all help make the walk to school safer and we’re here to help people campaign for them in their area.”

For more information on Living Streets’ walk to school campaign, visit livingstreets.org.uk/WalkToSchool

(Lead image: Shutterstock)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Motoring

Revealed: Swansea is one of the UK’s worst cities for road rage – although not as bad as Cardiff

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Swansea has been revealed as the 9th worst place in England and Wales for road rage according to new research.

The city saw 51 instances of recorded road rage in the last year.

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The Road Rage Index, was compiled by specialist car group Motorfinity, which sent Freedom of Information requests to police forces across the country.

Drivers in Swansea also had 15 cases of dangerous driving.

Cardiff topped the list, with 301 instances of drivers ranting at other road users in the city, followed by Leicester at 291.

A combined figure of 240 incidents puts Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton in third place.

Meanwhile, both Lancaster and Preston had 191 reports of road rage between them that attracted the attention of police, while Leeds had 108.

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Police forces for Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, and Lancaster and Preston were only able to provide the data when grouped with the other cities.

With 32 million motorists vying for space on British roads, it’s little surprise that things get heated. In fact, it’s claimed that more than half of the UK’s drivers admit to sometimes suffering from road rage whilst they’re driving.

Top 10 cities with the most road rage incidents

CityRoad rage incidents in 2021
1Cardiff301
2Leicester291
3Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton (combined)240
4Lancaster and Preston (combined)191
5Leeds108
6Sheffield79
7Bradford68
8Derby51
9Swansea51
10Hull49

As part of the research, Motorfinity also asked police forces for the number of counts of dangerous driving incidents, of which the city of Oxford came first with 480 counts, followed by 363 for Bradford.

Top five cities with the most dangerous driving incidents

CityDangerous driving incidents in 2021
1Oxford480
2Bradford363
3Leeds321
4Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton (combined)178
5Newport121

Motorfinity CEO Daniel Briggs believes that, although all the top 10 cities in the list are very busy urban areas, it doesn’t necessarily follow that more motorists means more anger.

He said: “The fact that the top few cities have so many more incidents than others suggests that drivers there may unknowingly copy each other’s bad behaviour. These results show that there are some clear hotspots when it comes to angry or impatient drivers.

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“It’s never ideal to be on the receiving end of road rage, but it’s also pretty unpleasant to be a regularly angry driver. Motoring should be an enjoyable experience, or at least one that people don’t dread.

“Given that road rage is generally considered commonplace, it’s likely that someone experiencing it has also been on the receiving end of another driver’s anger at some point. So, it’s worth remembering that a car door probably doesn’t insulate your emotions as much as you first think.”

It has been previously said that more than half of the UK’s drivers admit to regularly being angry at other motorists while they’re driving.

(Lead image: iStock)

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