Petrol station staff left shaken after being abused by angry motorists

Petrol station staff have faced abuse from angry motorists as the panic over fuel supplies continues to bite.

St Martin's Service Station. Photo: Google
St Martin's Service Station. Photo: Google

A number of fuel stations across Shropshire have seen panic-purchasing leading to pumps running dry, with the problem continuing today.

One petrol station, which has tried to ration fuel for emergency service workers and those doing life-saving jobs, said its staff had faced 'disgusting' abuse over the situation.

St Martin's Service Station brought in the restriction on Monday afternoon to ensure emergency workers could still get petrol or diesel – with other garages in the area having run out of fuel.

But Laura Barker, the garage's manager, said staff had since been targeted with foul-mouthed and personal abuse in multiple incidents as they seek to maintain supplies, with one customer even putting people at risk by throwing a petrol hose to the floor in anger.

She said: "I've been gobsmacked. It is disgraceful and we have told the staff that we will not tolerate it and those people will be asked to leave, and told not to return.

"It is only a little local store, you can imagine if you are there on your own getting people f'ing and blinding at you, it is a frightening thing. A member of staff today was quite shaken up after it."

The message on Facebook about abuse directed at staff at St Martins Service Station

She pleaded with the public to be understanding and to make sure those who need fuel can get it.

She added: "We are trying to make sure that life-saving workers and the emergency services have fuel until we get our next delivery, otherwise we would be sold out in half an hour."

Ms Barker said that there was enough fuel for everyone – if people buy it as they normally would.

She said: "Too many people have been buying it when they don't need it. We normally get a fuel delivery every 10 days. Since the media has reported about the fuel situation everyone has panicked, gone and bought petrol, then all the garages are trying to get deliveries at the same time.

"If people were buying it normally there would not be a problem."

The county's police have previously called on motorists to be sensible, with a spokesman saying: "We encourage everyone to act responsibly and keep our roads clear for us to respond to those that need our help."

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) - which includes Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service - says storing fuel in a car, the workplace or at home risks more blazes, which put their services at risk.

It a statement issued on Tuesday the NFCC said fuel vapour can cause "irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness."

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