Ambulance service urges drivers to only refuel if they need to

There have been long queues for fuel in the South Credit: ITV NEWS

An ambulance service is urging drivers to only refuel if they need to.

South Central Ambulance which covers Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, says its 999 and PTS crews and its volunteers routinely use petrol stations to refuel so they can get to patients. It says crews have had to join the queues with others to refuel which in some cases has taken some time.

The service is asking people to follow the government advice and not panic buy. It also asked if motorists do find that they need to join the queue at a station to please ensure that others, including emergency vehicles, can continue to pass.

This was Tothill Services on the A34 near Newbury today.

South Central Ambulance service is asking people queuing for fuel to make sure emergency vehicles can still get past Credit: Leon Neal/PA Archive/PA Images

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.

There has been a problem getting fuel delivered to petrol stations because of a shortage of lorry drivers

The Government is considering temporary measures to tackle the shortage of HGV drivers which is causing problems for a number of UK industries.

No 10 insisted on Friday night that any measures introduced would be "very strictly time-limited" amid reports that Boris Johnson had allowed ministers to relax UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers into the country.

And although Downing Street would not confirm whether any decisions had been made, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier promised to "move heaven and earth" to get the situation solved.

Ministers met to discuss the plans on Friday, with reports suggesting the final sign-off could come over the weekend.

It comes as the CBI called for ministers to establish a taskforce on the same level as the Cobra emergency committee to deal with supply issues.

And there have been warnings that disruption to festive preparations will be "inevitable" if progress is not made to solve the shortfall of around 90,000 lorry drivers.

Esso, BP and Tesco forecourts have been affected by challenges getting petrol deliveries. BP said that around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel, with between 50 and 100 sites affected by the loss of at least one grade of fuel.

A "small number" of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted, said Esso owner ExxonMobil, which runs the sites.

And on Friday the EG Group, which has around 400 petrol stations in the UK, said it was imposing a £30 limit on customers "due to the current unprecedented customer demand for fuel".