Fuel campaigner besieged by motorists looking for fuel after pranksters mark his house as petrol station on Google

·3-min read
Howard Cox. See SWNS story SWNNfuel; A fuel campaigner’s home has been besieged by drivers - after pranksters turned it into a Shell garage on GoogleMaps. Howard Cox, the public face of a campaign calling for fairer fuel prices, received more than 70 calls from motorists on the hunt for fuel. The jokers registered his home address in Kent on Google and marked it up as a Shell garage - complete with picture of a forecourt and review. Mr Cox, who fronts FairFuel UK, said: “I got home the night before last and this bloke asked if I had any petrol there.
Howard Cox, who fronts FairFuel UK, said a prankster had registered his home address on Google and marked it as a Shell garage. (SWNS)

A fuel campaigner has hit out at "puerile and sick" trolls who registered his home address as a Shell garage on Google – prompting him to be besieged by drivers looking for petrol. 

Howard Cox, who fronts FairFuel UK – a campaign calling for fairer fuel prices – said he had received more than 70 calls from motorists thanks to the prank. 

It comes as garages across the country were inundated with motorists panic-buying fuel amid concerns of a shortage, despite pleas from the government to carry on as normal. 

Cox revealed the situation on Twitter, saying the prankster had registered his address in Kent and marked it as a Shell garage – even including a picture of a forecourt and a review. 

Newbury, United Kingdom - May 27 2019:   The forecourt of the Shell petrol station on London Road
The prankster made it appear online as if Cox's home was a petrol station – prompting a flurry of calls from motorists looking for fuel. (Stock image: Getty)

He wrote: "It's sad that in a time of fuel shortage, some stupid troll hacked into my home address on @googlemaps and made it into a petrol filling station with photo of a Shell garage + a review. I had over 70 phone calls asking if I had a fuel supply. Puerile & sick!"

He said while it may sound funny, more than 70 calls had become annoying. 

Read more: Supply crisis: 'Catastrophic' panic buying of fuel 'going to get worse', says industry expert

"It's not funny at all," he said. You just don't do that sort of thing.

"It's probably a militant environmentalist or militant cyclist – it's those sorts of people who do this sort of thing."

He said it wasn't the first time he had been targeted.

"I've had faeces through the door, wrapped up in a cycle glove, and things like that. I've been subject to a lot of this, and all I'm trying to do is help UK drivers get a better deal."

Cox poured doubt on government plans to offer visas to overseas lorry drivers in the hope of alleviating the issue of a shortage of drivers in the UK, saying it would not "even touch the sides".

He added: "The scaremongering by Grant Shapps saying don't panic is obviously going to create panic.

“We know that from the toilet roll problems during COVID.

"I think it will still be pretty bad for a couple of days but in three or four days everything will be back to normal.

"Petrol and diesel are in full supply – it's just the driver shortage."

Watch: Who is 'Insulate Britain'?

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