Monster queues at petrol stations as desperate drivers fill jerry cans

·3 min read

Desperate drivers have been pictured filling up jerry cans amid the ongoing fuel crisis.

Many petrol stations had run out of petrol on Saturday morning while long queues formed outside others that still had fuel.

BP has cut deliveries at 90 per cent of its petrol stations in an attempt to ration the fuel it has in reserve.

ExxonMobil, the oil firm behind Esso, said that forecourts it operates at some Tesco supermarkets had also been affected.

Shortages have been caused by a lack of HGV drivers, with more leaving the industry each week than joining, experts said.

Boris Johnson is considering issuing 5,000 temporary visas to lorry drivers in a bid to ease the crisis.

The president of the AA claimed panic-buying rather than supply chain issues is driving the shortage of fuel at some petrol stations.

Edmund King said the problem should pass in a matter of days if drivers just stick to filling up when they need it, adding “there is plenty of fuel at source”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr King said shortage of lorry drivers had only been a “localised problem” earlier in the week.

His words come ahead of an expected announcement by the Government that visa rules for foreign lorry drivers will be relaxed.


“We were in discussions with Government ministers last night and we talked to the major fuel companies, and we can reiterate there is not a problem with supply at the source,” Mr King said.

“Earlier in the week, there were some problems with the supply chain, as we know, due to a shortage of some lorry drivers, but that was only a localised problem.”

Mr King said the shortage had been exacerbated by “people going out and filling up when they really don’t need to”.

“If you think about it, 30 million cars out there, if they’ve all got half a tank (and) if they all rush out to fill up the rest of the tank and the tank is about 60 litres, that will put a strain on the system,” he said.

Mr King said the issues were unlikely to last because the supply chain is not being disrupted by ongoing problems such as industrial action.

“The good news is you can only really fill up once – you’ve got to use the fuel, so this should be a short-term thing,” he said.

Motorists queue for petrol at an Esso petrol station in Brockley, South London. (PA)
Motorists queue for petrol at an Esso petrol station in Brockley, South London. (PA)

“It’s not like the fuel crises in the past when the supplier was hit by strikes, etc.

“So, once people have filled up, they won’t travel more than they normally travel, so this strain on the system should ease up in the next few days.”

EG Group, which has 341 petrol stations in the UK, has introduced a £30 cap on fuel to stop panic-buyers depleting stocks.

said in a statement that the move would ensure all its customers “have a fair chance to refuel”.

HGV drivers and emergency services will be excluded from the spend limit which would apply to all its grades of fuel, it added.

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