Trolls Turn Fuel Campaigner’s Home Into Petrol Station On Google Maps
A fuel campaigner’s home has been turned into a petrol station on Google Maps by pranksters.
The home of Howard Cox, the founder of FairFuel UK, a group campaigning for lower fuel prices and against the expansion of electric cars, was targeted by the jokers.
On Google Maps, Cox’s registered home address in Kent was marked as a Shell garage. It even had an image of a garage’s forecourt added to it and a review, which resulted in motorists in a desperate search for fuel reaching out to contact Cox about whether or not he had any petrol.
Due to the prank, Cox received more than 70 calls from motorists looking for fuel, and he even had someone turn up at his house – upon returning home on Friday, September 24, he was met by a man who ‘asked if [he] had any petrol there’.
Cox explained that while the prank ‘sounds funny’, he did not find the same humour in it.
I’ve done lots of media appearances recently about the petrol crisis so my name is out there and some idiot has gone out there thinking it’s funny.
It’s not funny at all. You just don’t do that sort of thing.
Cox suspects that it was a ‘militant environmentalist or militant cyclist’ who pulled the Google Maps prank on him. ‘It’s those sorts of people who do this sort of thing,’ he commented.
The campaign group states that it is ‘fighting for fairer taxation and treatment for UK motorists, van drivers, hauliers and motorbikes’, and claims it has saved drivers ‘over £110 billion’ since 2010.
As the public face for the campaign group, Cox says he has been previously targeted he had received. ‘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.’
News of the prank follows a fuel crisis which has been ongoing in Britain, which has seen a number of petrol stations close due to a shortage of lorry drivers and members of the public panic buying petrol. The UK government has even been reported as preparing to enlist the help of the Army to help.
Despite the UK government’s plans to make visa requirements less restrictive for foreign workers so that more lorry driver applicants at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency can begin training, Cox doesn’t think the plan will ‘even touch the sides’ of the crisis.
‘The scaremongering by Grant Shapps saying don’t panic is obviously going to create panic,’ he said.
However, he admitted that while it will ‘still be pretty bad for a couple of days’, he believes in ‘three or four days everything will be back to normal’. ‘Petrol and diesel are in full supply – it’s just the driver shortage.’
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