Police mock panic-buying motorists who queued at closed station

·3 min read
Police found long queues of cars that had been attempting to enter a petrol station near Burnaston, Derbyshire for three hours despite it being closed.
Police found long queues of cars that had been attempting to enter a petrol station near Burnaston, Derbyshire for three hours, despite it being closed.

Police have mocked panic-buying motorists who queued for three hours to get into a closed petrol station.

Officers were scrambled to the remote village of Burnaston, Derbyshire, to reports of queuing traffic causing long tailbacks on the busy A516.

There, officers found more than 100 drivers trying to get into an unmanned Gulf petrol station that was closed due to vandals attacking the pumps.

It comes as the price of petrol rose 135.9p on Friday to 136.6p on Sunday as a result of the fuel crisis. The price of petrol is now at its highest level since September 2013.

Officers engaged with motorists, some of whom had been parked at the location for over 3 hours, and asked them to depart from the busy roadway as their presence was causing significant obstructions to passing vehicles.
Officers asked motorists to depart from the busy roadway as their presence was causing significant obstructions to passing vehicles.

Derbyshire Police posted on Facebook to mock the drivers' “fuel-ish” behaviour.

Writing on the force’s Swadlincote Police SNT page, they said: “We were called to a rural garage near Burnaston today following reports of queues of traffic in the local area.

“Arriving at the unmanned petrol station on the extremely fast-flowing A516 roadway, officers observed long queues of cars attempting to enter the petrol station.

“Bizarrely, it soon became clear that the drivers had been queuing at a petrol station for several hours despite the fact that the garage was not open to the public and was unable to serve fuel following unknown persons who had caused damage to some of the petrol and diesel pumps.”

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Police attempted to explain the situation to drivers who had been sitting in their cars for “over three hours”.

They added: “With regret, officers, who were stood outside in pouring rain directing traffic, were subjected to abuse and a series of inexplicable excuses of why they needed to enter a closed garage that was unable to sell fuel.

Watch: Drivers clash as petrol station queues grow

“An investigation is underway to locate two men in a white van who made threats to an officer at the scene after they were asked to leave the petrol station.”

One irate driver told officers he was so desperate to refill his car, he had been driving for over three hours looking for fuel “and was furious”.

The force said: “When asked how much fuel he’d used looking for petrol he finally appeared to grasp the lack of solid ground his argument stood upon.”

Meanwhile, the Burton Bus Corporation offered to provide a vintage double-decker bus to take stranded motorists to work.

Forecourts have run dry across the UK as drivers buy up available petrol over shortage fears.

The fuel crisis has been brought about by a shortfall in the number of licensed HGV drivers able to transport fuel in the wake of Brexit.

In response to the crisis, army tanker drivers have been put on standby.

The military drivers will now receive specialised training to drive HGVs.

Watch: Shortage at the pumps – what happens next?

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