Drivers pack cars with jerry cans and £30 cap introduced as panic-buyers scramble for fuel

25 September 2021, 11:47 | Updated: 25 September 2021, 23:35

Drivers have been picking up jerry cans of petrol as large queues continue.
Drivers have been picking up jerry cans of petrol as large queues continue. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Sophie Barnett

A £30 cap has been introduced at hundreds of gridlocked petrol stations after desperate drivers were pictured filling jerry cans with fuel as fears continue over the UK's lorry driver shortage.

Motorists have ignored the Government's plea not to panic-buy and continued to flock to petrol stations across the country on Saturday morning.

Pictures of gridlocked stations and cars being pushed flooded social media as the frenzied buying continues, despite No10 telling people "we have ample stocks" and to "keep buying fuel as normal".

Some people had multiple jerry cans in the boot of their cars and spent time filling each up while others queued for hours to reach the pump.

Read more: Govt looking at temporary visas for lorry drivers as panic-buyers gridlock petrol stations

Read more: HGV shortage: Govt 'created this crisis' through inaction, Angela Rayner says

Meanwhile, the EG Group - which operates around 400 petrol stations across the UK - has already imposed a £30 limit at the pumps to give everyone a "fair chance to refuel".

It comes after BP warned it was "prioritising" fuel deliveries to petrol stations amid a shortage of lorry drivers and fuel stocks that are "declining rapidly".

There are thought to be a shortage of around 100,000 lorry drivers in the UK, and the government is now in talks to introduce temporary visas for foreign drivers to entice them back to work in the country.

Driver's van runs out of fuel in queue for petrol station

One petrol station owner, named Mohammed, called into LBC to talk about the issue affecting forecourts on Saturday morning.

He said: "We are selling two or three days worth of petrol in six hours."

Mohammed, who lives in Manchester, said panic-buying began on Wednesday as he blamed BP for stirring up fear in consumers.

Meanwhile, property manager Haroon drove from Gatwick to Brixton in his search for petrol.

His van was running so low on fumes he had to get colleagues to push the van down the street as he waited in the queue to get filled up.

He told LBC: "If I didn't have my guys to help me out I would be stuck in the way.

"I've been late for my work for nearly two hours. I've been waiting more than an hour and a half to fill."

He said he wants to see a £30 limit introduced at all stations so people can't panic-buy.

Elsewhere, drivers have been sharing their outrage on Twitter as queues formed down streets, with some sat stationary for hours.

Suffolk councillor Beccy Hopfensperger pleaded with people not to panic buy, as she tweeted: "PLEASE PLEASE stop panic buying fuel, we have carers who are unable to provide urgent essential care to our most vulnerable residents because they can not get fuel or they are waiting in queues for hours #panicbuying #showsomecompassion."

One woman told LBC she is too scared to queue in case she runs out of fuel, as she only has 20 miles left in the tank. She said she will be waiting for the problem to pass, which she hopes will be early next week.

On Twitter, Tannice said she watched someone in Maidstone "fill TWELVE jerry cans".

"Can't believe the selfishness of some people," she added.

Police forces across the country have urged people to avoid creating dangerous queues as officers were sent to control traffic flow.

Read more: Soldiers on standby: Shapps won't rule out using army to drive lorries in shortage crisis

Read more: Hundreds of thousands of people not using their HGV licenses, says Minister

Lincolnshire Police asked drivers to be "sensible" about filling up.

In a statement, the force said: "We have received reports this morning of long queues at some petrol stations in the county.

"This is a potential hazard for vehicles making other journeys, and may cause difficulties for emergency services trying to reach people in need.

"While we appreciate that some people may be particularly keen to fill up their vehicles this weekend, we would respectfully ask motorists to be sensible when making judgements about joining a queue at a petrol station.

"If it is too long, consider returning at a different time."

The queues are affecting a number of people in the country, with one LBC caller particularly frustrated by the panic buying.

A paramedic called into the Matt Frei show on Saturday to share that his 12-hour shift on Friday turned into 16 due to the queues.

He said transporting patients took much longer than usual as a result of the traffic build-up

Read more: Tesco warns Christmas panic buying could be 'far worse' than during Covid

Read more: Wetherspoons, IKEA and 100,000 pigs: Who has been affected by Brexit supply chain issues?

HGV driver: Pay has to go up to coax drivers to UK

On Friday Grant Shapps refused to rule out bringing in soldiers to drive lorries to help alleviate the shortage.

The Transport Secretary was quizzed on LBC about the shortage that has hit the UK in recent weeks, with around 100,000 drivers not working in the industry, according to the Road Haulage Association.

Nick asked the minister how low stocks would have to be and how many petrol stations would have to close before the involvement of the military would be deemed necessary.

Read more: Soldiers on standby: Shapps won't rule out using army to drive lorries in shortage crisis

"Well, I'll look at all of these things and military… it could be a wide range of different things from of course helping to test, to helping to drive," said the minister.

"Right now I just want to be clear... we spoke to (BP) last night, where they said that five out of 1,200 forecourts were unable to stay open - so just to put that in proportion.

"There's plenty of fuel in the refineries, there's no shortage of fuel, it is only the question of the delivery and it's not the situation as we've seen in the country before, where the distribution network's on strike or blockaded or anything like that."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Dreamland theme park, Margate, Kent

22 teens suffer suspected overdose at Kent gig as 17-year-old dies

Jack Black has cancelled the rest of his Tenacious D tour after his bandmate Kyle Gass made a comment on the assassination attempt on Donald Trump on stage on Sunday night.

Jack Black cancels tour over Tenacious D bandmate's Trump assassination comment

Police have been called to Grand Hyatt Erwan Hotel in downtown Bangkok

Mystery as six people found 'poisoned' in luxury five-star hotel in Bangkok ahead of Russian summit

TV chef Naomi Pomeroy died in a tubing accident in Oregon

Top US TV chef killed in horror accident on notoriously dangerous river in Oregon

Angela Rayner dismissed the comments made by Trump's would-be Vice President.

Angela Rayner hits back at Trump running mate after 'Islamist UK' comment

Strictly Come Dancing is reportedly considering hiring chaperones for celebrity stars after misconduct claims against two professional dancers.

Strictly Come Dancing could 'hire celebrity chaperones' after two professionals accused of misconduct

Police confirmed the human remains belonged to missing teen Jay Slater after a 29-day search

Jay Slater's mother pays tribute to 'beautiful boy' after body confirmed as that of missing teen

King Charles will lay out Labour's plan for government in the King's Speech.

What will be in Keir Starmer's first King's Speech and what does it mean?

Jamie Howlett is a serving police constable at the Metropolitan Police Service

Serving Metropolitan Police officer charged with sexually assaulting two children and raping adult

Body found in Jay Slater search is missing Briton, police confirm

Body found in Jay Slater search is that of missing Briton, police confirm

Police paused their search for Jay Slater two weeks after he vanished.

Madeleine McCann detective hunting Jay Slater breaks silence after ‘deteriorated’ human remains found in search

Exclusive
Children have been ‘left to fend for themselves’ when parents sent to prison (right stock image)

Children 'left to fend for themselves' when parents sent to prison – because authorities 'don't know about them'

The Spanish Civil Guard said Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, could have fallen in a steep and inaccessible area

Jay Slater's best friend Lucy Law pays heartbreaking tribute to 'happiest' person after his ‘deteriorated’ body found

Victoria Thomas-Bowen appears at Westminster Magistrates' Court today after Nigel Farage was drenched in a banana flavoured drink

OnlyFans model, 25, to stand trial after denying throwing a McDonald’s milkshake over Nigel Farage

Jay Slater was 'killed instantly' after falling from height in Tenerife family believe

Body found in hunt for Jay Slater was 'very deteriorated' as Tenerife officials reveal key details

Prince William hailed Southgate as a "true leader" in a touching tribute to the coach.

'A class act': Will and Kate share touching tribute to Gareth Southgate as England boss resigns