Lincolnshire Police respond to the week’s petrol panic

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LINCOLNSHIRE Police have responded to the mass panic buying at fuel stations around the county in recent days.

The force said they were aware ‘problems highlighed by members of the public’ at six service stations prior to 4pm on Thursday.

They also confirmed there were no incidents of road rage, other public disorder or collisions caused by the heavy queues.

Louth’s John Darke garage told the Leader they had been ‘overwhelmed’ on Thursday after being left as the town’s only garage serving fuel throughout the day after Esso in Newmarket ran dry from the morning up until around 7pm.

Police spokesman Dick Holmes said: “As a result of a variety of problems in other parts of the country Lincolnshire Police has received a number of calls from the media seeking clarification of the situation in our police area in respect of the so called panic buying of fuel.

“Research of our police computer incident logs reveals that prior to 4pm today we had been made aware of six service stations, situated in widely different areas of the county, where problems had been highlighted by members of the public. In all cases the problems related to queues of vehicles, with drivers waiting to buy fuel, backing up out onto the public highway and causing local congestion.

“The review of our incident logs has not revealed any examples of road rage or other public disorder nor had there been any resulting collisions or damage.

“It seems that drivers are acting calmly and within the law.”

The panic came with the threat of strike action by tanker drivers, though this would require seven days notice and talks are not due to begin until Monday.

Mr Holmes continued: “Police advice is that drivers listen to the information reported frequently via national and local media. There is no current shortage of fuel other than that caused at some fuel outlets by trends of panic purchasing. The possible industrial action which may be taken by fuel supplier tanker drivers has not yet been confirmed. Therefore there is no need to stock up on fuel.

“We ask that people use their common sense and do not join fuel station queues that are encroaching onto the highway as they may become a potential hazard. The last thing we want is for anyone to be injured unnecessarily.

“Unless you are extremely low on fuel please continue your journey and refuel at a different location or at a time when the queues have receded.”

More updates will be available on our website throughout the day.