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Why huge queues are forming at petrol stations across the region

Huge queues have formed outside a number of petrol forecourts amid fuel shortage fears in the Midlands.

Massive lines of motorists were spotted at petrol stations across the Black Country including at Asda and Sainsbury’s in Brierley Hill, as well as forecourts in Blackheath in Sandwell and Codsall.

There were also huge delays across Birmingham – with some filling stations in Kings Heath, Great Barr and Streetly running out of fuel completely.

Two major roads, the A4041 Queslett Road and the A452 Chester Road North in New Oscott, were also brought to a halt as many waited in line to fill up their vehicles.

It comes as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it was “struggling to meet deliveries”.

Read more: Live updates – Petrol ‘panic buying’ sparks huge queues at Asda and Sainsbury’s in Black Country

It said it had struggled to find enough tanker drivers to make fuel deliveries and was said to be typically 20 short of the 400 to 450 a day needed.

Hanna Hofer, BP’s head of UK retail, told a government meeting last week the situation was “bad, very bad”.

Queues for petrol at Sainsbury’s in Brierley Hill

The company said up to 100 of its forecourts were short of at least one grade of fuel. It has started rationing petrol deliveries.

Several have been forced to close entirely due to problems with supplies.

Shell said it was seeing increased demand for fuel at some of its petrol stations as worries over lorry driver shortages spark panic buying.

“We are seeing an increased demand today for fuel at some of our stations, which may in some instances result in larger queues. We are adapting our delivery schedules to ensure sufficient supplies for our customers,” a spokesperson said.

A handful of Shell gas stations are thought to have run out of fuel, according to Reuters.

Why huge queues are forming at petrol stations across the region
Queues at Costco Petrol station in Birmingham.

Last week, BP warned ministers that it was struggling to get fuel to its forecourts.

The chaos is thought to be linked to a nationwide lack of HGV drivers due to post-Brexit issues. After the UK left the European Union, many non-British nationals who drive lorries have opted to work solely within EU countries leaving logistical firms struggling to find workers.

It comes amid growing warnings of a cost of living crisis for Britons with rising energy bills, a cut to Universal Credit payments and the looming end of furlough.

A spike in global gas prices has also triggered warnings of food shortages following a knock-on effect across the supply chain.

The government has advised motorists to carry on buying petrol as normal.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had “plenty of petrol” and said: “The fuel will continue to flow.”

He added the government could bring in the army to drive fuel tankers if it would help.

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