Petrol stations in Rotherham run dry after motorists flock to the pumps

PETROL stations in Rotherham were out of fuel this morning after the country was consumed by a panic buying frenzy.

Queues were reported all over town over the weekend as drivers apparently reacted to rumours of a national fuel shortage — denied by the Government — by flocking to top up their tanks.

Some vendors were accused of profiteering from the panic buying, with one reportedly hiking their prices by 18p a litre, while others imposed rationing — at least three in our area restricted top-ups to £30.

By this morning, the queues had evaporated — because local supplies had largely run dry.

Of five service stations visited by the Advertiser during the rush hour this morning, four were totally out of fuel and the fifth only had diesel available.

Queues to buy petrol were reported across the UK despite transport secretary Grant Shapps insisting the country was not short of supplies.

“The good news is there is plenty of fuel — the bad news is if everyone carries on buying it when they don’t need it then we will continue to have queues,” he told the BBC yesterday.

“Sooner or later, everyone’s cars will be more or less filled up, there won’t be anywhere else to put fuel.”

Despite the attempts to reassure motorists, the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent filling stations, reported that between half and 90 per cent of its outlets had run out, with the rest “partly dry and running out soon”.