‘Panic-buying idiots have lost me income’, says self-employed London electrician

Fuel pumps out of use at a deserted Shell petrol station forecourt in Warwick. Picture date: Monday September 27, 2021.

One worker has said people panic-buying have “directly taken food off the table” of his wife and son, as many struggled to commute without any fuel.

Queues stretched out from petrol stations at the weekend as panic-buying added to fuel supply issues caused by a lack of HGV drivers.

Electrician Roland McKibbin, 31, from Beckenham, south-east London, said he would only be able to reach one of his jobs on Monday having been unable to fill up his tank, despite visiting four petrol stations.

“I rely on fuel to travel to jobs – no fuel means I can’t drive, which means I can’t get to jobs with my tools,” he said.

“So, basically, the panic-buying idiots have lost me income, and directly taken food off the table for my wife and five-year old son, because I can’t wire people’s houses from home, unfortunately.

“I wasted about 15 miles of fuel looking – in the end I had to turn back as I was on fumes.”

A fuel tanker departs a Shell oil depot

Mr McKibbin said being unable to travel would cost him “at least £200 for the day” while he will have to cancel jobs on Tuesday if he cannot fill up before then.

“We’ve been left at the short end of the stick along with ambulance staff etc,” he said.

The Environment Secretary George Eustice said there were “no plans at the moment” to use the Army to drive petrol tankers amid continuing shortages at filling stations, after Boris Johnson was thought to be considering sending in troops.