How fuel disruption is impacting one remote Norfolk village

Walcott fuel disruption

Clockwise from top right: Lucan Grave, a volunteer at Wild Touch Animal Rescue; Pauline Porter, chairperson of Walcott parish council; Walcott village sign. - Credit: Submitted/Maurice Gray/Archant

Long queues at petrol stations and congestion on the roads - but how has the disruption at the pumps been impacting one of Norfolk's most remote villages?

Residents of Walcott, a community of less than 600 on the north coast, normally buy their fuel at Tesco in Stalham, Sainsbury's in North Walsham or Crayford and Abbs Ltd in Mundesley.

Each station is between five and six miles away.

On Saturday (September 25), police were called to the Stalham forecourt after members of the public had complained about queues.

Tesco petrol station in Stalham

Motorists have been queuing outside the Tesco petrol station in Stalham since last Friday. - Credit: Google

Bell the Biker, founder of the Walcott, Bacton and Happisburgh Flood Support and Help Group, said: "The lack of fuel is quite a concern for us, because we have quite a few elderly people in the village who are still shielding and people who have recently come out of hospital and can't leave their house."

Bell, as well as Jane Ransom and other volunteers, normally do ten shopping trips a week to North Walsham and Stalham, delivering groceries to Walcott's elderly and vulnerable residents.

"Jane is down to fumes," said Bell.

He added: "I'm okay-ish for diesel but that won't last forever. Luckily enough I had topped up on Tuesday and now I'm just trying to scrape by with what I have."

Most Read

Lucan Grave, 31, a volunteer at Wild Touch Animal Rescue, said: "We don't typically go out on call-outs to animals but a couple of people have called to say they aren't able to bring us injured animals as they're low on fuel."

Lucan Grave, 31, a volunteer at Wild Touch Animal Rescue

Lucan Grave, 31, a volunteer at Wild Touch Animal Rescue in Ridlington, near Walcott. - Credit: Submitted

The charity is expecting a delivery of live insects on Wednesday (September 29) to feed their reptiles and birds.

"Hopefully it will get here," said Mr Grave. "It's difficult to know what's happening, it's difficult to decipher what's actually happening versus what you see on social media.

"Being so remote, being in Walcott, it's difficult to see what's happening, so you're relying on Facebook."

Pauline Porter, Independent candidate for Happisburgh in the 2019 North Norfolk District Council ele

Pauline Porter, chairperson of Walcott parish council. - Credit: Archant

Pauline Porter, chairperson of the parish council, was queuing outside Tesco in Stalham on Tuesday morning (September 28) to do her shopping - but there was a "horrible" queue for fuel, she said.

"There isn't a fuel shortage if people buy what they normally buy instead of stockpiling it in the garden shed. It's just gone mad.

"It's no different in Walcott from other places, apart from the fact we have to travel further to get fuel," she added.

How did this happen and should you fill up? Read our Explainer.

For up-to-date information about the county's roads, visit our LIVE Norfolk traffic map

Join our Norfolk Travel Information group on Facebook for all the latest traffic news in Norfolk. 


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter