Fuel supply issues prompt queues for petrol stations across South

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

Queues have formed outside petrol stations across the South East, with some stations even closing due to fuel supply issues.

Drivers have been pictured lining the roads including in Worthing, Canterbury and Shoreham-By-Sea.

The issue has been caused by issues transporting fuel to the forecourts, prompted by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers.

Despite fuel supply issues, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insists that there is 'enough fuel to go around'.

He said: "As soon as these stories are around, of course the danger is people change their behaviour.

"I'd urge people not to. The refineries have plenty of fuel. If we all carry on as we are, of course there are stresses in the system, but there is plenty of fuel to go around."

Sussex Police says it's aware of disruption caused by the queues.

A spokesperson said: "Current government guidance is that the public should continue to buy fuel as normal and we would ask drivers not to join queues on forecourts and along the roads.

"Keeping our highways clear is essential for emergency service vehicles to respond to incidents swiftly and hindering them poses a serious public health risk.

"Please be aware of the wider safety implications of queuing around petrol stations and do continue to follow the latest government guidance around the buying of fuel."

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 petrol stations closing?

Due to the difficulties with transport fuel, BP told the government last Thursday it would restrict deliveries of petrol and diesel to ensure continuity of supply.

Ms Hofer told the government this will mean running 80% of services levels to 90% of BP’s forecourts and that most locations, as a result, will not be restocked for one-and-a-half days a week.

But she said forecourts on motorways will be prioritised and will be restocked as normal.

Ms Hofer said every week the company is experiencing “tens” of “stock outs” at the 1,200 sites it supplies. When this happens forecourts are coned off and temporarily closed.

Credit: Credit: Lewis Whyld PA Archive/PA Images

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.

Transport secretary Mr Shapps denied that Brexit was the culprit in the UK’s shortage of lorry drivers, arguing that the split from the European Union has helped the government react.