Fuel suppliers say the majority of forecourts are open and have plenty of stock as panic-buying has continued over the weekend.

A number of petrol stations were closed or faced large queues of drivers looking to stock up across the North East on Sunday.

At stations in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland, ChronicleLive found that nearly all of those stations which remained open had significant queues during Sunday from early morning.

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At Shell on Shields Road in Byker, pumps were open for both petrol and diesel but busy with long queues of drivers waiting to get in.

There was some consternation at the queuing system which had separate lines for petrol or diesel but some drivers unclear about how this worked, adding to delays and frayed tempers.

Sarah Devine posted on Facebook: "Heads up for anyone going to Shell on Shields Road - there's two separate lanes for petrol and diesel, but NOTHING and NOBODY to tell people this! Car's are having to drive back round and queue again, it's absolute carnage."

Sainsbury's fuel station in Heaton was closed, as was BP on the Coast Road. Tesco's garage at Four Lane Ends on Benton Road remained open but with queues still waiting on Sunday evening, a situation mirrored at Benton's Asda which also stayed open.

Morrisons in Killingworth ran out of fuel on Saturday but reopened after receiving a delivery later in the day.

Local people took to social media community groups to share tips and frustrations, asking for advice on which forecourts were open and what type of fuel was in stock.

In Northumberland, where fuel was to be found in Amble, Blyth and Alnwick, Erin Stevens posted on a Northumberland community Facebook group that Esso in Amble was switching its pumps off to save fuel for emergency services vehicles.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps appeared on Andrew Marr's TV programme on Sunday morning to insist the country has no issue with fuel supply and that the crisis has been 'manufactured'.

“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," Mr Shapps said.

A shortage of HGV drivers is thought to be the main issue around fuel supply with the UK said to be in need of more than 100,000 to meet current demand.

The government is writing letters to more than 1 million people with HGV licences to try and encourage them to come back to work and offering temporary visas to more than 5,000 foreign drivers, the MEN reports.

Several of the UK's fuel suppliers have now issued statements on the current situation at forecourts.

Tesco has confirmed it is experiencing 'temporary outages in a small number of areas.' However, the company insists it is not 'rationing' fuel.

A Tesco spokesperson added: “We have good availability of fuel, and we’re working really hard to ensure regular deliveries to our petrol filling stations across the UK every day”.

A BP spokesman said: "We are experiencing fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites. This is being caused by a shortage of qualified drivers. The majority of the 1200 sites we supply remain supplied and open.

"However, at the moment we estimate that 10 to 15 per cent of sites in this network currently may not have one grade of fuel or another."

Shell added: "We are working hard to ensure supplies for customers. Since Friday we have been seeing a higher-than-normal demand across our network which is resulting in some sites running low on some grades."

Morrisons said: "It is a rapidly moving situation and we are working hard with our suppliers to ensure we can continue to keep our pumps open and serve our customers."

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