Drivers stranded at BP petrol station in Ipswich due to water-contaminated fuel

The BP garage on Woodbridge Road.

The BP garage on Woodbridge Road. - Credit: Archant

Four vehicles “comically” broke down one after another as they tried to leave the petrol station in Woodbridge Road on Wednesday night.

Motorists were left stranded at a petrol station in Ipswich after inadvertently filling up their cars with water-contaminated fuel.

Four vehicles “comically” broke down one after another as they tried to leave the BP petrol station in Woodbridge Road on Wednesday night.

Heavy rain was blamed for causing the contamination to the underground unleaded petrol tanks.

Sean Creaton, of Soane Street, said his Volkswagen Golf broke down after filling it up with unleaded petrol worth £15 to £20 at around 7.45pm.

The 43-year-old said: “I pulled away and the car started to splutter and I thought ‘oh no, something’s wrong’. I just made it to the road and it cut out. It wouldn’t start again.

“I sort of panicked and called my dad, Geoffrey, who lives just round the corner, and, after I said we’re going to have to tow it or get it off the road, a lady pulled out and exactly the same thing happened to her. Her car just wouldn’t go.

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“And then it was like a concertina effect. Everyone was pulling out and they couldn’t start their cars. I was angry at the start but it became quite comical. It was like something out of a film.

“It was a good job my dad turned up actually because he was outside warning people away for about half an hour. They put some cones out but people were still pulling in.

“It was comical. It got to the point where my dad was telling people ‘you won’t get petrol here – you will just get water. Go and grab a kettle instead!’”

Mr Creaton, a Stowmarket warehouse worker, said a member of staff explained to the group of frustrated motorists that water had leaked in to an unleaded petrol tank and contaminated the fuel.

His repair costs have been valued at between £200 and £300, but a BP spokesman insisted that all drivers affected will be reimbursed.

He said: “At BP, we take fuel quality very seriously and we always want to make sure our customers have the absolute best fuel available.

“We are sorry that, due to heavy rain, rainwater found its way through the filler opening to one of the unleaded petrol storage tanks at this dealer-owned and operated site.

“We have been in contact with the dealer and the dealer has assured us that they will make things right with the affected consumers and cover the costs associated with this incident.”

In a statement, the managers of the petrol station said: “We apologise for the incident at our garage. It was an accident. As soon as our alarm went off, we straightaway pressed the emergency button.

“We have informed our insurance company and our engineers are investigating. We will sort it out through the insurance company, which will bear the costs.

“We have never had a complaint before and we always provide good customer service. We thank the customers for understanding our situation.”

If you were affected, call the petrol station on 01473 715198.