Long queues form at petrol pumps in Chesterfield and Derbyshire amid fears over supply shortage
Long queues have formed at petrol stations in Chesterfield and Derbyshire amid fears of a national fuel shortage due to a lack of HGV drivers.
It comes despite a plea for drivers in the UK to avoid panic buying, with the Government and the AA saying there is not a fuel shortage and that most forecourts are operating as normal.
In Chesterfield, there have been reports of long queues at the Tesco petrol station on Lockoford Lane while in Dronfield, the queues outside Sainsbury’s station caused traffic to back up along Sheffield Road.
Peter Foster went to the Tesco station at around 11am this morning and described the scene on Twitter.
He said: “Tesco Chesterfield; 40 minute queues blocking the roads, local petrol station running out; lady filling up 12, yes 12!
"Petrol cans & stashing in her boot. Panic buying again, when there’s no need. Down to my last 60 miles so needed a bit for dads taxi but #petrolshortage.”
BP has said it has two-thirds of the normal forecourt stock levels needed for smooth operations, but warned this could drop quickly if panic buying occurs.
In an attempt to ration supplies, it has closed a small number of its sites and is reducing fuel deliveries to forecourts.
Tesco has also announced some closures, but said it is ensuring supply is replenished quickly.
The UK is currently short of an estimated 100,000 HGV drivers, with gaps being blamed on a surged in drivers returning to Europe after Brexit and drivers being caught up in the ‘pingdemic’ over summer.
However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated that refineries had “plenty of petrol” and that people should carry on buying petrol as normal.
Speaking to the BBC, he said the Government could bring in the army to drive fuel tankers if it would help.
Elsewhere, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said the Government acknowledged that there were "issues facing many industries across the UK, and not just in terms of HGV drivers".
He added that there was no shortage of fuel and that there was a "very resilient and robust supply chain".
"People should continue to shop for fuel as usual," the spokesman said.