Police in Wales urge motorists not to block roads as petrol panic-buying continues

Queues at an Asda Petrol Station in Leckwith Retail Park, Cardiff. Credit: Liam Ketcher

Police in Wales are warning people not to cause "unnecessary obstructions" on roads as motorists continue to form long queues outside petrol stations.

In a statement, North Wales Police reassured people there is no disruption to petrol deliveries at most petrol stations and that there is no need to panic buy.

They said: "We are aware of the current fuel concerns and are in touch with fuel stations who have reported there is no disruption to deliveries at most sites."Please do not form queues and cause unnecessary obstructions in roads, potentially risking harm to pedestrians and other road users."

South Wales Police have asked people to keep roads clear to allow for any essential access for the emergency services.

They are also urging to "follow government guidance around the buying of fuel."

The president of the AA has said panic buying rather than supply chain issues is driving the shortage of fuel at some petrol stations.

Edmund King said the problem should pass in a matter of days if drivers just stick to filling up when they need it, adding "there is plenty of fuel at source".

Mr King said shortage of lorry drivers had only been a "localised problem" earlier in the week.

His words come ahead of an expected announcement by the Government that visa rules for foreign lorry drivers will be relaxed.

"We were in discussions with Government ministers last night and we talked to the major fuel companies, and we can reiterate there is not a problem with supply at the source," Mr King said.

"Earlier in the week, there were some problems with the supply chain, as we know, due to a shortage of some lorry drivers, but that was only a localised problem."

Mr King said the shortage had been exacerbated by "people going out and filling up when they really don't need to".

"If you think about it, 30 million cars out there, if they've all got half a tank (and) if they all rush out to fill up the rest of the tank and the tank is about 60 litres, that will put a strain on the system," he said.

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.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, saying that motorists should “carry on as normal”.

"The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well,” he said.