Pleas for drivers to stop panic buying as some petrol stations run out of fuel

MANY petrol stations across the Stroud area ran out of fuel over the weekend after mass panic buying for petrol and diesel started on Friday.

This morning in Stroud (Monday) at 9am, the Shell garages in Nailsworth and Stonehouse had fuel available. Other garages didn’t, but were expecting deliveries.

As a result of the mad rush starting on Friday, one by one, the petrol stations across the area closed, which in turn compounded the situation at fuelling stations still open and with fuel.

The hold-up in fuel deliveries is due to a lack of HGV drivers.

The Government has urged everyone to “fill up as normal” adding that there is enough fuel in reserve and there is no need to panic.

Motorists are now being urged to be respectful and only refuel vehicles if they need to.

In order help address the shortfall of around 90,000 drivers, which has hit the supply of food, petrol and other goods, the government has said it is to speed up the process of obtaining HGV driver licences.

On Sunday, transport minister Grant Shapps reiterated that there is “no shortage of fuel” in the UK and people should be “sensible” and fill up only when they need to.

Speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme, Mr Shapps said: “We need to ensure that people are reassured now that this rather manufactured situation has been created, because there’s enough petrol in the country.”

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at trade association Logistics UK, told BBC Breakfast consumers must stop panic-buying to ease the fuel crisis while the Government implements longer-term solutions to tackle HGV driver shortages.

She said: “We are seeing the impact of panic buying, we have been assured through the Petrol Retailers Association and we have been assured by some of the larger petrol companies in the country that there is enough fuel for everyone, but yet we have become very concerned and are buying and buying and have caused a very big problem.

“I represent and have been dealing with the Government over the general shortage of HGV drivers, we have got a number of announcements there about increased tests, funding of new visas, so there are issues in the industry and some of these will take a while to resolve, some of these can be resolved, so a lot is being done, but we really need to keep calm, just as we did through Covid with toilet rolls, for this not to continue.

“There’s the shorter-term panic-buying which if we go back to our normal amounts and almost relax our behaviour and bring it back to normal then that can calm down quite quickly.”

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