Petrol shortage: hundreds of petrol stations set £30 fuel limit as panic-buyers queue to fill tanks

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Panicked drivers have been queuing at petrol stations and filling jerry cans with fuel amid shortage fears

Drivers will be hit with a £30 fuel limit at hundreds of petrol stations across the UK amid fears of shortages.

Panic buyers have been queuing at garages around the country in a race to fill up their tanks, with some drivers filling up jerry cans from the early hours of Saturday (25 September) morning.

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The chaotic scenes come after a shortage of HGV drivers has forced some fuel retailers to shut their pumps and ration sales, with Esso, BP and Tesco forecourts all affected by petrol deliveries.

Where will fuel caps be imposed?

The EG Group, which runs around 400 petrol stations across the UK under the BP, Esso and Texaco brands, has imposed a limit of £30 per customer to ensure everyone has a “fair chance to refuel”.

The group confirmed that the emergency services and lorry drivers would not be affected by the price cap.

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A spokesperson said: “Due to the current unprecedented customer demand for fuel and associated supply challenges we have taken the decision to introduce a limit of £30 per customer on all of our grades of fuel.

"This excludes HGV drivers and emergency services due to their vital role at this time. “This is a company decision to ensure all our customers have a fair chance to refuel and to enable our sites to carry on running smoothly.

"We kindly ask everyone visiting our sites to treat our colleagues, supply chain partners and customers with respect during these very challenging times.

“All of EG Group’s UK sites remain open and operational to serve customers.”

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A full list of petrol stations run by the EG Group’s petrol stations across the UK is available to view online.

BP has said around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel (Photo: Getty Images)BP has said around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel (Photo: Getty Images)
BP has said around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Drivers urged not to panic-buy

Drivers have been urged by police to be “sensible” about filling up at petrol stations after queues built up at garages across the country.

BP has said around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel, with between 50 and 100 sites affected by the loss of at least one grade of fuel.

Esso owner ExxonMobil also said a “small number” of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted.

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The lengthy queues come despite pleas from No 10 and motoring bodies urging the public not to panic-buy, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling motorists to “carry on as normal”.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "We have ample fuel stocks in this country and the public should be reassured there are no shortages.

"But like countries around the world we are suffering from a temporary Covid-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country.

"We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time-limited.

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"We are moving to a high-wage, high-skilled economy and businesses will need to adapt with more investment in recruitment and training to provide long-term resilience.

Temporary visa scheme to address shortages

The government is now considering temporarily relaxing UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers to work in Britain to help with the crisis.

Up to 5,000 temporary visas could be granted for HGV drivers and a similar number may be approved for food processing workers.

However, Downing Street insisted on Friday (24 September) that any measures introduced would be “very strictly time-limited”.

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Ministers are also said to be drawing up emergency plans to bring in soldiers to drive tankers to forecourts suffering with supply issues.

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