Petrol supplies across the UK have been plundered and up to 90 per cent of independent service stations are running dry – despite drivers being urged not to panic purchases.
More than half of all service stations outside the motorway are now dry as Brits scramble to fill up their motors.
The shortage of HVG drivers is raising fears of shortage of petrol, affecting fuel delivery.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged motorists not to panic buying fuel supplies as he insisted there was no shortage of fuel.
But despite the pleas, violence broke out in the courtyard of the petrol station as drivers clashed at the pumps – triggering each other in chaotic scenes.
Last night, the government broke competition laws to deliver fuel to the places most in need.
IComes as t…
- Controversy has erupted in the courtyard – including dramatic scenes between moped drivers
- Competition laws have been suspended in an attempt to stop panic buying
- UK’s second largest oil refinery falls over £223 million VAT payment
- While going to emergency an ambulance crashes into traffic waiting for petrol
- Grant Shapps blames haulers for chaotic scenes
- List of fueled petrol stations can be found here
Trade Secretary Quasi Quarteng announced the suspension of competition laws to make it easier for oil companies across the country to target supply needs.
The minister is also considering bringing in the army to transport fuel supplies.
Trade body Petrol Retailers Association, which represents about 5,500 independent outlets, said 50 to 90 percent of its service stations had run out of fuel.
Chairman Brian Maderson told the BBC that the reduction was down to “panic, pure and simple”.
There are around 8,000 petrol stations in the UK, most of which are operated by independent retailers.
Fuel giant BP revealed about 30 percent of its service stations – on many motorways – “currently have none of the main grades of fuel”.
Read our Petrol Crisis Live Blog for live updates on the crisis
After critical talks with major fuel industry owners, Mr Quarteng said: “We have long-standing contingency plans to work with industry to keep fuel supplies up and running in the event of severe disruption. delivery can be done.
“While there has always been and continues to be a lot of fuel at refineries and terminals, we know there are some problems with supply chains.
“This is why we will implement the Downstream Oil Protocol to ensure the industry can share critical information and work together more effectively to minimize disruption.”
This weekend saw “frenzied” panic as the government was warned that a plan to solve the HGV driver shortage would not strip shop shelves bare this Christmas.
Easy Group, which runs 367 fuel stops under the BP, Esso and Texaco brands, has slapped a 30-pound fuel limit to give customers “a fair chance of refueling”.
Selfish drivers fueling jerry cans are blown up by other motorists.
On Friday night, a shocking brawl broke out at an Esso garage in Chichester, West Sussex.
Police said no arrests had been made as they had appealed for information.
petrol pump collision
This afternoon, another fight broke out between moped drivers at a petrol station in Haverstock Hill, north London, as motorists struggled to fill up.
Meanwhile, two groups of men were seen “shouting” at each other before one group threw stones while the other ran into a van at a shell garage in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
The escalating crisis has forced the police to marshal drivers at petrol stations after huge queues blocked the roads.
Emergency services have come to a standstill amid chaos at petrol pumps this weekend.
Police had to jump ahead of queues at a garage in Hackney, east London, to avoid running out of petrol.
And an ambulance crashed into a car while trying to make its way through a line of vehicles queuing at a Shell station in Bromley, Greater London.
According to the Road Haulage Association, there is a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers in the UK.
We just need to make sure people are filling in when they need to be filled, instead of thinking I can better go and fill it if I need it next week or the week after. Give
To ease the crisis, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has approved temporary visas for 5,000 foreign HGV drivers to help ease the crisis.
But today he acknowledged that the lorry driver shortage could last “years” despite the government’s plan to train 4,000 more domestic lorry drivers.
And he urged drivers not to panic buying, insisting there were no supply problems at six refineries and 47 storage facilities across the UK.
Mr Shapps said: “It’s not that we don’t have fuel in the country.
“We just need to make sure people are filling when they need to, rather than thinking I’ll be better off and filling now if I need it next week or the week after.”
He has blamed the trade body Road Haulage Association (RHA) for triggering “crowding at petrol stations”.
It is claimed that someone from RHA leaked comments about HGV driver shortages at fuel firms.
RHA spokesman Rod McKenzie blasted that as “absolute bullshit”, claiming he had leaked the details.