Saturday 23 October 2021
10.8 C

Pictures: Panic at the pumps in West Bridgford – Minister says ‘Buy petrol as normal’

Despite assurances from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this morning, residents are piling into fuel stations in West Bridgford to fill their cars.

Scenes at Sainsbury’s Local on Melton Road show vehicles clogging up the main road waiting to turn into the garage to get fuel.

IMG 6745 scaled

It’s a similar situation at ASDA filling station on Loughborough Road in West Bridgford, the right turn lane southbound on the A60 is blocking traffic as motorists wait for the lights to filter right into the ASDA station.

IMG 6749 scaled

A “handful” of BP stations, and a small number of Esso-owned Tesco Alliance stations, were closed on Thursday mainly because of a shortage of delivery drivers.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had “plenty of petrol”.

- Advertisement -

He told the BBC that the government could bring in the army to drive fuel tankers if it would help.

Queues on Loughborough Road West Bridgford for ASDA fuel ©
Queues on Loughborough Road West Bridgford for ASDA fuel

It is estimated that the UK is short of about 100,000 HGV drivers – with gaps made worse by the pandemic and Brexit.

Reports in several newspapers have suggested that the government is considering getting soldiers to drive fuel tankers under emergency plans.

IMG 6755 scaled
ASDA fuel Loughborough Road West Bridgford.

When questioned about this on BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said: “If it can actually help, we will bring them in.”

However, he said there would be “technicalities” as to whether military personnel could switch to driving civilian vehicles.

IMG 6739 scaled

The AA said that most of the UK’s forecourts were working as they should.

“There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems,” said AA president Edmund King.

“Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts, as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week.

And later this afternoon… Full fuel tanker delivered to Sainsbury’s Local – but still the queues for fuel continue