Frustrated drivers have resorted to desperate measures to secure supplies of fuel as the shortages showed few signs of easing in the capital despite assurances from Government ministers.
There are fears panic buying could lead to preventable accidents as drivers flout strict legal controls on what highly flammable fuel should be stored in.
Now, a “STUPID” panic buyer was spotted emptying out water bottles and filling them with petrol while she held up a 30-minute queue of desperate drivers behind her.
A driver queuing behind her at Cobham Services on the M25 filmed the dangerous stockpiling effort.
44-year-old Gavin Rabbitt posted the video online and said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought ‘I can’t believe the stupidity of this woman.”
“This is the kind of thing that causes the problem. People filling up things they shouldn’t be filling up and no one else can get the fuel because of other people’s stupidity.”
“The queue was all the way down the slip road. We were queuing for about 20 to 30 minutes. She was all blasé and doing it right in front of me. It’s ludicrous.”
More details from AWM:
The gas shortage crisis in the United Kingdom is due to several factors, including a continuing shut-in of some North Sea oil platforms and an explosion at one refinery. The country has been forced to ration gasoline for motorists after poor weather conditions caused panic among energy traders who feared there would not be enough fuel available through National Grid’s pipelines into storage depots. In response, the government has deployed a £22 million diesel generator to provide emergency power for hospitals and other essential users in East Anglia.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced that he would be visiting Germany’s key oil hubs of Rotterdam and Antwerp this week to discuss ways to mitigate the crisis with European Union leaders.
The gas shortage is so severe that the government has urged people to stop using their dryers and dishwashers until further notice. In response, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco said it would be limiting fuel purchases at most of its gas stations because availability from suppliers is limited.
In an effort to help alleviate some of the pressure on the gas shortage, some people have opted to download an app that gives drivers a warning if prices at nearby petrol stations begin to rise.
Despite these efforts, some critics have said that the app has not had as big of an impact on petrol stations as it may have otherwise done due to a lack of fuel availability in many parts of the country. So far this week, about 60 percent of Tesco filling stations are without any unleaded fuel, and nearly all of Morrisons stations are dry.
It is against the law to have more than 30 litres of petrol at your home and it must be stored in suitable portable metal or plastic containers.
She’s not the first driver to be pictured hoarding petrol since panic buying set in after a small number of stations reported shortages because of logistics problems. The number of motorists rushing to the pumps has led to warnings as many as 90% of independent petrol outlets are facing the prospect of running out of stock.
Watch the video below: