Fuel crisis UK: Latest updates as petrol shortages continue and panic-buying worsens

Long queues at petrol stations amid panic buying

Key workers could go without fuel because of panic buying at petrol stations across the UK, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association has warned.

Brian Madderson told Sky News the crisis is “going to get worse before it gets better” and suggested it could affect the emergency services and other “really serious jobs”.

It came after the president of the AA described the supply problems as a “temporary blip” caused by panic buying rather than fuel shortages.

Long queues continued to form at forecourts across the UK on Saturday morning despite pleas from ministers and police, who urged motorists to be “sensible” to prevent exacerbate the situation.

Some of the largest UK operators have already started to ration fuel, with EG Group setting a limit of £30 per customer at nearly 400 stations, while pumps at some BP, Esso, Tesco and Shell sites were closed.

The crisis was sparked by the shortage of HGV drivers and the government is now considering lifting its visa restrictions to attract 5,000 foreign workers in to the country. However government insiders have told The Independent it might already be too late to stop disruption to the Christmas holiday.

Follow our live coverage below

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Fight breaks out at petrol station amid fuel crisis

Tensions were running high at a petrol station in Portsmouth this morning as motorists headed en masse to stock up on fuel.

Two groups of men began “screaming” at each other before one group chased another trying to make a quick getaway in a van, according to reports.

The incident happened at around 8.30am in Hilsea.

“People were queuing throughout the night. Pumps are almost dry,” a witness told Sky News.

After the men began shouting at each other, he said: “One group got into their van and drove off out of the city as the other group gave chase and hurled stones at the retreating van. It’s utter madness.”

Sam Hancock25 September 2021 16:44

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Government ‘letting people down’ over fuel crisis, says Starmer

Keir Starmer accused the government of ‘letting people down so badly’ over the fuel crisis as he arrived at Labour Party conference.

The Labour leader told reporters: “I’ve just been up the road (and seen) three petrol stations, one of them with a massive queue and two of them with no fuel. So this is our opportunity to set out the alternative”.

Watch: Keir Starmer attacks government over energy crisis as Labour conference begins

Labour leader Keir Starmer accuses the government of ‘letting people down so badly’ as he arrives at Labour Party conference. Long queues continue to form at forecourts across the UK on Saturday morning despite pleas from ministers and police urging motorists to be “sensible”.Mr. Starmer told reporters: “I’ve just been up the road (and seen) three petrol stations, one of them with a massive queue and two of them with no fuel. So this is our opportunity to set out the alternative”.

Sam Hancock25 September 2021 16:28

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Tory MP claims Brexit is reason HGV visa change can occur

Dr Liam Fox, who was a staunch supporter of Brexit, has urged the government to move ahead with visa changes that would let thousands of EU lorry drivers work in the UK amid the HGV driver shortage.

The UK’s divorce from the EU has been partly blamed for the lack of lorry drivers, so Dr Fox’s claim that Brexit is what will allow the visa rule change is probably going to ruffle a few feathers.

Sam Hancock25 September 2021 16:26

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Ambulance workers join queues for fuel amid panic buying

Ambulance workers have reported struggling to find fuel for their vehicles because of panic buying at the pumps.

One emergency care assistant tweeted: “To everyone that panicked and went to fuel their cars when it wasn’t needed, well done on shift on an emergency ambulance, low on fuel and struggling to find somewhere that isn’t sold out.”

Another posted on Facebook that they had to go to five garages before refuelling.

Yesterday South Central Ambulance issued a tweet – since deleted – urging motorists not to rush to petrol stations to fill up.

“Every day our teams routinely use petrol stations to refuel vehicles so that we can continue to get to our patients, and, like many, continue to get to work,” the service said.

“Today they have joined the queues with others to refuel which on some occasions has taken time.

“Please could we encourage everyone to follow government advice and only refuel should you need to.”

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 16:12

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Video: Customer confronts petrol station worker amid fuel crisis

Video footage shows the nasty moment an argument flares up between a Londis petrol station worker and an angry customer amid the current fuel crisis in the UK.

The customer can be seen shouting at the member of staff before storming off to his car.

Watch: Customer antagonises Londis petrol station staff amid fuel crisis

Video footage shows the nasty moment an argument flares up between a Londis petrol station worker and an agressive customer amid the current fuel crises in the UK.It is unclear how the disagreement started but the angry customer can be seen shouting ‘did I cuss you’ as he gets in the face of the worker, with the disgruntled man later storming off to his car.Panic buyers continue to queue at forecourts across the UK on Saturday morning despite pleas from ministers and police urging motorists to be “sensible”.

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 15:54

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‘A lot of people are going to go without fuel’, warns trade body

The fuel crisis ‘is going to get worse before it gets better’, according to the chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association.

Brian Madderson told Sky News that “a lot of people are going to go without fuel” as a result of panic buying.

“This could be emergency services, it could be deliveries to supermarkets, it could be NHS workers, doctors, firemen, people who have really serious jobs that need 24-hour requirements for fuel,” he said.

“I think this situation is going to get worse before it gets better.”

He blamed the crisis on a government leak to the media about BP’s decision to restrict fuel deliveries to around 100 sites (out of a total of 1,200) due to HGV driver shortages and low stock levels.

“That leak to a broadcaster has brought about the quite catastrophic situation we’re now in where there is panic buying,” said Mr Madderson.

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 15:21

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Tempers flare amid petrol panic buying

Fights have broken out at petrol stations as motorists queue for fuel, according to unconfirmed reports on social media.

Witnesses told Portsmouth News that two groups of men clashed on a Shell forecourt in Hilsea, ending with one group chasing the other and throwing stones at their van.

A Twitter user also told how a fight broke out after fuel ran out at a garage, describing the scene as “Post Brexit Wild West”.

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 15:08

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“There is no shortage,” says Asda

Asda has also sought to reassure motorists by pointing to “increased demand” from customers as the main issue behind any supply problems.

“There is no shortage, but increased demand from customers rushing to fill up means that the main issue is keeping up with that and refuelling the tanks at stations,” a spokesperson for the supermarket told Sky News.

“None of our stations have closed other than temporarily to refuel.”

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s also said they were working to maintain supply.

An aerial view of the queue at an Asda petrol station in east London

(AFP via Getty Images)

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 14:33

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One of those queuing for petrol is ITV reporter Paul Brand, who says he has spent the whole morning looking for fuel because he only has six miles left in the tank.

“It’s getting pretty rowdy,” he says from the scene in Hanwell, west London. He adds: “We are not panic buying, just on empty trying to get to an appointment!”

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 14:08

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Starmer hits out at government over fuel crisis

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer referred to the petrol crisis as he arrived at the party conference in Brighton.

He told supporters that the Conservative government was “letting people down so badly” over shortages of food and fuel.

“I’ve just been up the road (and seen) three petrol stations, one of them with a massive queue and two of them with no fuel,” he added.

Peter Stubley25 September 2021 13:43

About the author: Alan Leonard

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