Morrisons in Swadlincote has shut its petrol station this afternoon in Swadlincote because it has run out of fuel amid panic buying by motorists

The forecourt was coned off as members of the public who arrived to fill up at the pumps where forced to turn around.

A member of the public near the Morrisons told Staffordshire Live that staff were spotted leaving the premises, saying the petrol station had run out of fuel.

The filling station at Five Lane Ends near Burton also ran out of fuel today. And there were long queues at many places around Burton, Swadlincote and across Staffordshire today, including Tesco at St Peter's Bridge and in Uttoxeter.

They were among many petrol stations up and down the country that have faced a shortage amid panic buying today. Fears of fuel shortages have been sparked by a lack of HGV drivers to make deliveries. People wanting to be lorry drivers have been unable to sit their HGV tests during the pandemic, which has caused the shortage of qualified staff.

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Some stations had pumps marked as empty and queues have been forming, despite motorists being urged not to fill up if they did not need to amid reports that "more and more petrol stations are running dry" across the country.

A Government spokesperson said: “There is no shortage of fuel in the UK, and people should continue to buy fuel as normal.”

And the Transport Secretary has said motorists should “carry on as normal” after the lorry driver shortage hit fuel deliveries. But his advice was not being heeded in the Burton and Swadlincote area, along with many other parts of the country which have seen panic at the pumps as drivers rushed to fill up.

Grant Shapps told Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.

“They describe it on the average day that they have a handful of petrol stations that they had to close out of 12 or 13 hundred.

“The problem is not new. There has been a lack of drivers for many months through this pandemic because during the lockdown drivers couldn’t be passed through their lorry HGV tests, and that is what has led to this problem.

“But many more tests are being made available now, so we should see it smooth out fairly quickly.”

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