Motorists urged not to 'panic buy' fuel as queues cause chaos across Hunts

Chaos at petrol stations across Huntingdonshire this weekend.

Chaos at petrol stations across Huntingdonshire this weekend. - Credit: Archant

Queues snaked around petrol stations across Huntingdonshire this weekend – after fears of disruption to the fuel supply sparked panic buying. 

The chaos heightened on Saturday afternoon (September 25) with garages in Huntingdon and St Neots closing by 4pm after running out of fuel.  

Fuel shortages led to misery for drivers who had queued for up to an hour.

Fuel shortages led to misery for drivers who had queued for up to an hour. - Credit: Archant

And it wasn’t only petrol affected – but diesel too. Huntingdon Sainsbury’s ran out of both and signs reading ‘no fuel available’ marked entrances. 

On Saturday (September 25) at Huntingdon Shell garage on Spittals Way, lengthy queues formed outside causing traffic to pile up behind.  

Drivers queue at Huntingdon petrol station on Saturday afternoon (September 25).

Drivers queue at Huntingdon petrol station on Saturday afternoon (September 25). - Credit: Archant

It was reported that desperate drivers were also filling up jerry cans.

Many people took to social media to complain, @Rewildthewild tweeted a picture that had formed outside Morrisons Petrol Station in St Ives.

“No fuel at Hemingford," the Tweet read.  

Queues formed outside Morrisons St Ives petrol station on Sunday (September 26).

Queues formed outside Morrisons St Ives petrol station on Sunday (September 26). - Credit: @Rewildthewild

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“Ten pumps had six cars at least yesterday, sheep, the lot of them.  

“Probably the same idiots who moaned about the supermarket arriving aren't now moaning.” 

On the St Ives Facebook group, many people vented their frustrations too.

Queues snaked around petrol stations in a bid to get petrol and diesel.

Queues snaked around petrol stations in a bid to get petrol and diesel. - Credit: Archant

One wrote: “The garages should have a member of staff asking people who are queuing to show how much petrol the have in the car anyone with half a tank should be told to go away.” 

It was announced yesterday evening (September 26) that the government is to suspend competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries at petrol stations following recent panic buying. 

Officials said the move would make it easier for companies to share information and prioritise parts of the country most at need.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said if motorists only fill up their cars with fuel when needed, then there would be no need for the type of queues currently being seen at petrol pumps.

Morrisons petrol station in St Ives had run out of fuel on Saturday afternoon.

Morrisons petrol station in St Ives had run out of fuel on Saturday afternoon. - Credit: Amelia-Jane Morris

The panic buying he said has been caused by a "irresponsible briefing" to the press following a meeting with road haulage groups had sparked a reaction from people. 

The Petrol Retailers Association has warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets are out of fuel, with the rest of them "partly dry and running out soon".  

The UK has a total of more than 8,000 filling stations. 


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