Fuel crisis: tanker driver tailed by 20 motorists who thought he was carrying petrol

When they realised Johnny Anderson wasn’t carrying petrol one of them said he should have stopped and told them

A tanker driver was tailed by about 20 cars, only for them to discover he wasn’t carrying petrol.

Johnny Anderson was transporting 44 tonnes of mortar from Bilston, Wolverhampton, to a building site in Northamptonshire.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And he was challenged by a driver at the front of the line who said he should have stopped to say he wasn’t carrying petrol.

When Mr Anderson arrived at the delivery site he saw a line of traffic backed up behind him.

He said: “The man at the front... actually said ‘You could have stopped and told us you weren’t a petrol tanker.”

It comes as after queues formed at forecourts amid petrol and diesel supply issues. On Monday members of the armed forces arrived at the Buncefield oil depot in Hemel Hempstead as the military is drafted in to deliver fuel to petrol stations.

Mr Anderson, from Harworth, Nottinghamshire, said he was delivering cement to the David Wilson Homes development at Overstone on Thursday.

He was on the A43 when he first realised he was being followed.

Queues of cars snake round the road leading to this Tesco petrol station. (PHOTO BY: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images)

Tanker driver saw a ‘string of cars’ behind him

He told the BBC: “I didn’t notice initially but then on the dual carriageway, I noticed nobody was overtaking me and saw a string of about 20 cars behind me.”

“When I eventually turned left into a road that would take me to the site entrance, all these cars turned left with me.”

Three-quarters of a mile later, when he stopped at the site entrance, he heard car horns honking, he said.

Thinking something had fallen off his vehicle, he got out and saw the queue of vehicles.

“The man at the front wound down his window and asked me which petrol station I was going to,” he said.

“When I said I wasn’t, he asked me ‘Why not?’ and when I said I wasn’t carrying petrol, he actually said ‘You could have stopped and told us you weren’t a petrol tanker.’

“I couldn’t believe it... I just went full McEnroe and said ‘You cannot be serious!’

“Then the bloke behind asked me where the nearest petrol station was. It just beggars belief.”

Mr Anderson, who drives for Weaver Haulage, said: “My cargo isn’t dangerous but if they are following a petrol tanker, their training is to call the police if they think they’re being followed.”

“People need to stop and think... driving a tanker, no matter what the product, is quite a pressurised job, so following them puts extra pressure on drivers already under pressure without having to worry about absolute morons.”

We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.