Portsmouth fuel: Fareham takeaway owner fears his business may have to close if petrol crisis continues
A CONCERNED Fareham business owner has asked motorists to only buy petrol if they ‘really need it’ as he says he risks closing amid the fuel crisis.
Abu-Suyeb Tanzam, who has run the Gandhi Indian takeaway in Anjou Crescent for more than 30 years, said he lost around 35 customers on Friday night as they couldn’t come to collect food and is fearful his Portsmouth-based staff will struggle to come to work this week.
It comes as a shortage of HGV drivers caused some garages to close or run low on fuel, sparking motorists to panic buy petrol – worsening the issue.
52-year-old Abu said: ‘I am worried for my own business as well as the other businesses in my area.
‘We don’t have a delivery service so many of our customers drive to us to collect their orders. But on Friday many of them called to say they didn’t want to drive either because of large queues on the road caused by people queuing for petrol or because they were worried about running out themselves.
‘This was made worse by the M27 closure, which meant the A27 is busier – and it’s even busier when people are queuing out in the road for petrol.
‘I’m worried for my staff as well. A lot of them live in Portsmouth and they need petrol to get into work.
‘If this continues as it has over the weekend I am worried because I don’t know if I will be able to run the business or not, we could be forced to close.’
As reported, a surge in demand for petrol in the Portsmouth area has led to various incidents since Friday, including a ‘tussle’ at a petrol station in Hilsea and a three-car crash linked to the shortages by Gosport police.
Mr Tanzam added: ‘I would ask people who do not need to drive for work or other important reasons to not buy lots of petrol and think about the people who really need it.’
In response to the crisis government is set to suspend competition laws, allowing oil firms to supply fuel to areas most in need.