Gas stations BLOCKED as fears of fuel shortages trigger panic buying with 20 cars lining up in early hours
Huge queues are blocking access to gas stations across the country due to fears of fuel shortages.
Panic shoppers have been lining up for the early hours to fill their tanks – despite the government insisting motorists “go on as usual”.
On Thursday, BP announced that it had closed a “handful” of its gas stations due to a lack of available fuel.
A “small number” of Tesco charging stations have also been affected, said Esso owner ExxonMobil, which operates the sites.
But hordes of drivers have made late night and early morning trips to stock up fearing the country’s fuel supply will run out completely due to a shortage of HGV delivery drivers.
A man drove to the ASDA forecourt in Eastleigh, Hampshire at 11 p.m. last night to be greeted by 20 more cars waiting to enter.
Another motorist was one of many waiting for his local garage to open in Hunstanton, Norfolk, at 6 a.m.
Elsewhere, customers at a BP filling station in Billericay, Essex suffered significant delays this morning and more than 30 vehicles lined up at ASDA station in Brighton Marina, East Sussex.
A woman from Surrey said she even saw an ‘old man’ pour £ 2.65 of fuel into his tank ‘before it spilled onto the ground’.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps tried to dissuade drivers from panicking by buying gas, telling Sky News: “The advice would be to continue as usual, and that’s what BP is also saying.”
But the British ignored him by the thousands, rushing straight to the pump.
A gas station manager in Coventry said his store was already suffering from a loss of business due to a lack of fuel.
He told Good Morning Britain: “The big problem is the driver shortages.
“We ran out of unleaded yesterday at 5:30 am and already this morning we have seen panic purchases.
“We had to change the diesel lane because people have gone mad and it really doesn’t have to be. There is a lot of fuel, but no drivers.”
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The ministers are said to be making contingency plans to bring in troops to drive tankers to forecourts suffering from supply problems.
The temperature was informed that contingency plans, called Operation Escalin, would kick in if the situation deteriorated significantly.
The supply issues came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it “was struggling to meet deliveries”.
He cannot find enough tanker drivers to make fuel deliveries, typically 20 less than the 400-450 needed per day.
According to the Road Haulage Association, the UK is short of 100,000 truck drivers in total.
Hanna Hofer, UK retail manager at BP, told a government meeting last week that the situation was “bad, very bad”.
The company said as many as 100 of its forecourt lacked at least one grade of fuel. He started rationing gasoline deliveries.
Several have been forced to shut down entirely due to supply issues.
Petrol stations on highways and main roads have priority for fuel deliveries.
However, the AA said today that most forecourts in the UK are functioning as they should.
The advice would be to continue as usual, and this is also what BP says.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps
President Edmund King said: “There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are functioning normally, only a few are suffering from temporary supply chain problems.
“Fridays and weekends always tend to be busier on forecourt, as drivers combine refueling with groceries, getting ready for weekend trips, or refueling for the start of the new week. of work.
“Drivers should not refuel outside of their normal routines because, although the occasional gas station is temporarily closed, others just down the road will be open.
“It is now clear that there have been occasional delays over the past few weeks that were handled without anyone noticing. It was a manageable problem.”
The crisis comes on top of families facing soaring energy bills and empty supermarket shelves.