AS drivers across the UK continue to panic buy petrol, forecourts are being forced to shut while they wait for fuel deliveries.
If you need petrol today, this might mean that your usual service station is closed for business and you have to drive further to get what you need.
Here’s everything you need to know including why petrol stations are shutting, which ones have closed and where you can still fill up:
Why are petrol stations closing?
Industry experts have said that there is no shortage of petrol, but there have been problems with a lack of lorry drivers to get it to the right place.
Panic buying has exacerbated things, with many petrol stations reporting long queues as everybody rushes to top up their tanks.
Some have been unable to keep up with the unexpected demand and have been forced to shut temporarily while they wait for deliveries.
Full closures seem to be rare, but several supermarket and service station bosses have reported that they are running out of specific types of fuel in between new deliveries.
One petrol station manager told 5Live Breakfast: “At least once a week now, we’re having to switch diesel or unleaded off. It’s an issue, but it’s not an issue from our fuel suppliers because there’s plenty of fuel out there.”
Drivers have been urged not to stockpile fuel, as it will only cause more widespread closures, and could have more severe consequences if emergency services workers are stuck in long queues or unable to get petrol when it’s needed.
Bedfordshire police tweeted: “We would ask that you make sure that you are not blocking roads while queuing, it’s important that emergency vehicles are able to pass at all times.”
Edmund King, the president of the AA told BBC Breakfast the problem should pass in a matter of days if drivers only fill up when they need to.
He said: “If you think about it, 30 million cars out there, if they’ve all got half a tank [and] if they all rush out to fill up the rest of the tank and the tank is about 60 litres, that will put a strain on the system.
“The good news is you can only really fill up once – you’ve got to use the fuel, so this should be a short-term thing.”
🔵 Read our petrol crisis live blog for live updates on the crisis
Which petrol stations are shut?
There’s no definitive record of all the stations that are shut, and the list keeps changing as forecourts reopen once new deliveries arrive.
Reports of closures are limited meaning that the majority of stations should still have petrol available.
Major supermarkets including Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have all said that they’re not facing fuel shortages, despite the increasing demand.
On Thursday, BP said that it had closed just 20 of its 1,200 petrol stations because they had run out of fuel. Between 50 and 100 sites have also been affected by the loss of at least one grade of fuel.
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has said that a small number of Tesco petrol stations are affected.
At the local level, people are reporting that specific petrol stations near them have closed. For instance, Morrison’s petrol station in Newport has no diesel until tomorrow, according to the County Press.
And Sainsbury’s petrol station in Newport remains closed this morning after having to shut yesterday when it ran out of supplies.
Meanwhile, Harrow Online has reported that the Shell in Pinner Green was forced to close.
And the York Press says that Morrisons on Foss Islands Road and the Asda petrol station at Monks Cross Shopping Centre are closed.
However, it says the Texaco in Boroughbridge Road has just reopened after a delivery of fuel.
To find out if a petrol station near you is shut, it’s worth checking your local newspaper website as many are keeping a tally on closures.
You can also search online and check social media to see if anyone else is reporting an issue.
Where can I get petrol today?
Although there are lots of reports around shortages, the majority of petrols stations are open.
If you need fuel urgently, check online reports to scope out which of your nearest is still operating.
One of the biggest forecourt operators has placed a £30 maximum at all of its pumps to make sure it can keep customers on the road.
This means that if you live near one of EG Group’s 367 petrol stations, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fill up, even if you can’t get a full tank.
EG Group, runs petrol stations under well-known brand names such as BP, Esso, Shell and Texaco.
We have the full list of locations operating the £30 limit – which might be a good place to start if you need petrol or diesel today.
Bear in mind you might have to drive a little further afield or wait in a long queue to fill up.
If you’ve got petrol in the tank and shouldn’t need a top up, then experts are suggesting that you wait until the panic has passed.
Police are also asking people not to join long queues unless necessary to avoid causing problems for emergency services.
Lincolnshire Police said: “While we appreciate that some people may be particularly keen to fill up their vehicles this weekend, we would respectfully ask motorists to be sensible when making judgements about joining a queue at a petrol station.
“If it is too long, consider returning at a different time.”
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