MOTORISTS have been urged not to panic buy fuel after hundreds of drivers queued at petrol stations across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch on Friday morning.

Queues formed at a number of petrol stations including the Esso and Tesco petrol stations in Castle Lane East and the Co-op petrol station in Holdenhurst Road.

Dorset Police, Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are all calling for the public to “behave sensibly and not panic buy”.

Superintendent Dean O’Connor, of Dorset Police, said: “Like many other parts of the country, Dorset is experiencing a delay in delivery of fuel to forecourts, but there is no suggestion that there is a fuel shortage.

Bournemouth Echo:

“We have received multiple reports today of roads being blocked as a result of people queuing to buy petrol and diesel. I would strongly urge people to not panic buy as it is only compounding the situation.”

Christchurch resident Rachel McMillan said: “I was driving from Christchurch to Alder Hills using Waze to see the best way to get there.

“I first got caught up along Fairmile and I thought it was just volume of traffic but when I got to the petrol station near the Co-op it was a queue of cars waiting to get in.

“I then got caught going through Wallisdown and down towards Alder Hills Sainsbury’s as the queue to get into their petrol station is causing chaos. The worst of it is my petrol light came on during the journey. Fortunately, I had enough to get home.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Michael Hern from Ferndown, said: “There has been an absolute frenzy of people panic buying fuel at Sainsbury’s petrol station in Ferndown since early this morning and it is still continuing now.

"People are queuing from the forecourt up the dual carriageway, which is dangerous to road users and then the queue snakes into the exit of the supermarket causing mayhem to shoppers and customers.

“There is not much you can say other than there is no fuel shortage and tanker drivers were delivering fuel quite happily and regularly, with deliveries 24 hours ago. Now motorists are causing more strain on infrastructure as pumps become exhausted and only so many deliveries can be made by limited number of drivers.

“Monday will return to normality as how many times can you fill your fuel tank up in 24 hours.”

Fuel shortages have reportedly occurred due to a lack of HGV drivers, causing delays in the refuelling of petrol forecourts in some areas.

BP and Tesco have closed some petrol stations nationally because they cannot get petrol or diesel supplies to all their forecourts.

Bournemouth Echo:

However, motorists have been told they should avoid panic buying.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have good availability of fuel, with deliveries arriving at our petrol filling stations across the UK every day.”

A spokesperson for BP said: “We are experiencing some fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites in the UK and unfortunately have therefore seen a handful of sites temporarily close due to a lack of both unleaded and diesel grades.

Bournemouth Echo:

“These have been caused by some delays in the supply chain which has been impacted by the industry-wide driver shortages across the UK and there are many actions being taken to address the issue.

“We continue to work with our haulier supplier to minimise any future disruption and to ensure efficient and effective deliveries to serve our customers.

“We are prioritising deliveries to motorway service areas, major trunk roads and sites with largest demand and seeking to minimise the duration of stock outs.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”