The chaos brought about by the fuel crisis is hitting the regional press hard.
Many papers around the country have been forced to reduce the number of issues they produce, casual sales are being hit, and staff are beginning to wonder how they will get into work if the situation continues.
At the Evening Star, Ipswich, editor Nigel Pickover told HoldTheFrontPage yesterday that they had enough diesel for a week’s van runs but had cut from three editions to two asa precaution.
He added: “The problem on sales is that many papers are sold on garageforecourts which are now closed.”
On the ThisIsYork website, York Evening Press readers were assured by editor Liz Page that they would be kept up to date with the fuel shortage, and other local news, as their paper is delivered as normal.
She wrote: “The fleet of diesel-fuelled Evening Press vans is continuing to take to the county’s roads to ensure the paper gets to your home.
“Readers can be assured that their paper will be delivered as usual for the foreseeable future.”
The Evening Press also sent cycling reporter Chris Titley out on two wheels to visit forecourts and see the chaos at first hand. You can read his account on the newspaper’s website.
Meanwhile, enterprising photographer Keith Meatheringham, from Scarborough’s Dobson Agency, took to his bicycle to capture shots of the queues at the town’s garages which made front page of the Sun.
Sheila Coleman, Farming Editor on The Western Mail, has told Welsh readers how she returned from a two-week holiday in Brittany at the weekend thinking she was leaving the fuel crisis behind – only to find that it followed her across the Channel.
At the Derby Evening Telegraph photographers were yesterday taking it in turns to come off-diary and queue for petrol at the few stations in the circulation area which still had meagre supplies.
Sarah Wyatt queued for two hours to get petrol at Derby’s Sainsbury’s superstore on the Wyvern, while Jon Hindmarch found a queue that was only an hour-long in Ilkeston, but supplies were being rationed to £10 per customer.
But yesterday there were still some papers unaffected, and one was the Isle of Man Newspapers.
Reporter Philip Thomson rang us to say: “We’re fine, thanks for asking.”
“We are completely unaffected,” he said. “Our petrol comes in by ship from Milford Haven and that’s not been blocked.
“Nobody’s been panic-buying – although we have all filled our tanks up just to be on the safe side.”
Petrol on the Isle of Man has traditionally been more expensive than on the mainland. Prices fluctuate daily, but yesterday’s price at the garage opposite the newspaper office was 84.9p per litre of unleaded.
Philip added: “That’s one of the nice things about living and working here, we rarely get affected by problems like this.”
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