Long queues for petrol stations across Shropshire as motorists rush to fill up

Motorists have led a run on the pumps across the county with panic petrol buying causing mayhem – with even the police getting involved.

People queuing at Morrisons in Wellington.
People queuing at Morrisons in Wellington.

Drivers and petrol stations across Shropshire have reported huge queues as people panic-buy petrol - despite pleas not to - in the wake of reports that a shortage of tanker drivers was hitting fuel supplies.

Large queues have been seen at garages throughout the county, including at Morrison's in Wellington, Tesco on the Wrekin Retail Park, Sainsbury's at Meole Brace, Asda in Donnington and Shell in Oakengates.

In Newport police have even been forced to get involved due to queues for the Shell petrol station.

The town's safer neighbourhood policing team posted on Twitter urging people to avoid the area, saying: "There are significant delays on Lower Bar and Salters Lane due to traffic queueing for the Shell Petrol Station

"Our team are on scene to assist managing traffic – please follow officers directions to prevent further issues.

"Avoid the area if at all possible."

One garage manager said they had sold an entire Friday's worth of unleaded in just six hours.

Queues for Sainsbury's at Meole Brace in Shrewsbury

Meanwhile a haulage firm said it had been force to top up the tanks at their base over concerns that drivers could be left without fuel – exacerbating issues already affecting deliveries across the country.

The situation has largely been driven by national media reports this morning which outlined issues with some BP Garage deliveries, although the firm said it was forced to close just five out of more than 1,300 forecourts – and most stations reported healthy stocks.

Jonathan Corbo, manager at Much Wenlock's Shell petrol station said reports from other garages across the county described it as "mayhem".

He said that they had sold a day's worth of unleaded in just six hours and that although they had run out of unleaded today their deliveries would ensure they were back to normal tomorrow morning.

One garage owner who did not want to be named said he had been warned by suppliers to expect further disruption due to the ongoing shortage of delivery drivers.

The site of drivers queuing up at petrol stations has been replicated up and down the country.

There were early morning queues for Sainsbury's at Telford Forge Retail Park.

On Friday, BP said that around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel, with between 50 and 100 sites affected by the loss of at least one grade of fuel.

A "small number" of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted, said Esso owner ExxonMobil, which runs the sites.

Talking to the BBC's Today programme Transport Secretary Grant Shapps promised he would do what is needed to ensure that petrol gets to drivers.

"I'll move heaven and Earth to do anything that's required to make sure that lorries carry on moving our goods and services and petrol around the country," he said.

Mr Shapps has denied that Brexit was the culprit in the UK's recent shortage of lorry drivers, arguing that the split from the European Union has helped the Government react.

Motorists are being urged not to panic

The AA has also said that most of the UK's forecourts are working as they should amid worries over supply of petrol at some sites.

"There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems," said AA president Edmund King.

"Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week.

"Drivers should not fill up outside their normal routines because, even if the occasional petrol station is temporarily closed, others just down the road will be open."

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