Portsmouth petrol: Drivers in 30-minute queues for fuel at petrol stations say panic buying is 'crazy'

DRIVERS stuck in queues at petrol stations for more than half an hour have said panic buying is ‘crazy’ – and forecourt staff say they have never seen anything like it.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th September 2021, 3:10 pm

Long queues have sprung up in the last two days at forecourts across the wider Portsmouth area.

At the BP petrol station in Eastern Road, near Baffins, an expected delivery of petrol had not arrived today, closing its diesel pumps and leaving just 3,000 litres of unleaded left – which would be gone in a few hours given the rush, according to a staff member.

He said: ‘It should last a couple of days – but at this rate, in a few hours it will all be gone.

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‘I have been here two years – I have never seen it like this.’

A customer assistant who has worked at the Shell garage in Eastern Road, Farlington, for more than nine years echoed the sentiment, with long queues snaking off the forecourt since 5am.

A tanker arrived at 8am today to deliver fuel that would normally last four days – but it’s almost all gone, the worker said.

He said: ‘We have been getting our normal deliveries. It’s just because people have been coming in and all the petrol stations around us are closed. Everyone has said they are running on empty. It started yesterday morning.’

Jason Foreman, 23, and partner Taylor Hutton, 22, are driving from Southsea to Jason’s home town of Peterborough. They spoke to The News while queuing at the Shell petrol station. Picture: Richard Lemmer

The rush for petrol has shocked drivers across the city, like Jason Foreman, 23, and partner Taylor Hutton, 22, who spoke to The News while queuing at the Shell station.

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The pair had a 160-mile trip to Jason’s hometown of Peterborough ahead of them – but only 142 miles-worth of petrol in their tank.

Jason said: ‘We have been here 35 minutes.

Frances Miranda at the Shell petrol station in Eastern Road, Farlington. Picture: Richard Lemmer

‘I didn’t think it would be this bad. I think it’s been made worse by panic buying.’

He added: ‘I don’t think the government should be bringing in foreign drivers. There should be more incentives for drivers already here.’

Frances Miranda has just driven his bike off a ferry having arrived from France - and was not expecting long delays at petrol stations.

The Spanish resident had been on holiday on the continent and now needs petrol to return to London for his job as a construction engineer.

The 31-year-old said: ‘I had no idea this was going on. There’s no shortages in France as far as I am aware.

‘This is just nuts - it’s crazy. I think the shortage is about applying common sense - but maybe all these people need to refuel. You just don’t know.’

One 65-year-old Paulsgrove resident, who did not want to be named, was in the queue for petrol. He said the chaos reminded him of the fuel crisis in the 1970s.

The road maintenance worker, who needed to refuel to get to work in Loughborough, said: ‘The only time I remember it being like this was in the 1970s when we were given petrol coupons. It feels like it could get that bad again.

‘Everyone needs to get around - we’re all in the same boat. It’s the driver shortage - working in the roads industry, I know even we’re being hit by delays on deliveries.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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