'There's no need to panic buy, we just need drivers', Coventry petrol station owner says

Petrol station owner Paul Cheema who is based in Tile Hill in Coventry. Credit: ITV News Central

A petrol station owner from Coventry is concerned the closure of individual pumps is turning away business.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Paul Cheema said the worry isn't about fuel shortage, but the lack of drivers to transport it.

The Tile Hill petrol station has been out of unleaded fuel since 5:30pm on Thursday and he said he has witnessed panic buying already.

Paul Cheema owns Malcoms in Tile Hill, which ran out of unleaded fuel yesterday evening. He says it's down to a shortage of HGV drivers.

"I think the big problem is driver shortages and where are the drivers? And how can we run my site here? we ran out of unleaded yesterday at 5:30 and already this morning we've seen panic buying and to the right of me, we've had to switch off the diesel lane already because people have gone crazy, when there's really no need to panic buy. There's plenty of fuel there - we just need drivers."

"We don't just lose money selling the fuel outside, soon as the yellow cover goes on the nozzles there, the customers are driving straight past. We're also losing that income inside the store. We're a community forecourt here in Tile Hill and we need the customers in."

It comes as BP has told the government it plans to restrict deliveries of petrol and diesel to its network of service stations to ensure continuity of supply.

The company’s ability to transport fuel from refineries to its network of forecourts is being impacted by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers.

BP Garage

Is there a fuel shortage in the UK?

There’s no shortage of petrol or diesel in the UK.

The shortage at petrol stations is caused by issues with transporting fuel from distribution terminals to forecourts.

Why are there supply issues?

The issues with transporting fuel to petrol stations is caused by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers.

BP doesn’t employ any lorry drivers directly, it outsources deliveries to Hoyer, an independent haulier.

BP has approximately 45 drivers coming through in training but the company is also experiencing high rates of attrition. In the week beginning September 6, ten drivers joined and six left.

What is being done?

BP is calling on the government to help address the driver shortage by making it easier to temporarily recruit HGV drivers from abroad.

BP said it is hopeful fuel stocks at forecourts will stabilise and start to rebuild at some point in October.

Read more:

Why fuel supply issues are prompting petrol stations to close

BP prepares to ration fuel deliveries as some petrol stations close over supply problems