Stark images show deserted petrol stations in Merseyside amid fears of petrol supply shortages.

A number of Merseyside petrol stations were forced to close after running out of fuel today (Friday, September 24).

Fuel has completely sold out at the Shell Garage on Crosby Road North in Waterloo.

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Pictures by ECHO photographer Andy Teebay show yellow 'Sorry out of use' signs over both petrol and diesel pumps.

Sainsburys in Knotty Ash was also closed with a sign at the entrance reading 'Sorry, our petrol station is currently closed due to a fuel delivery. We will be opening again within the net hour. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.'

Fuel all sold out at the Shell Garage,Crosby Road North,Waterloo.(Pic Andrew Teebay).
Fuel all sold out at the Shell Garage,Crosby Road North,Waterloo.(Pic Andrew Teebay).

However, a fuel lorry was not on the premises.

No fuel at Sainsbury's,Knotty Ash.(Pic Andrew Teebay).
No fuel at Sainsbury's,Knotty Ash.(Pic Andrew Teebay).

People have also reported long waiting lines in Belle Vale, Southport, Litherland, Formby and parts of Wirral.

The closures and queues come as the latest in a number of stores suffering from supply shortages, due in part to a shortage of HGV drivers.

The pandemic and Brexit have both played their part in this perfect storm of a crisis for the industry, with a backlog of driving tests within the DVLA limiting the number of new drivers available to alleviate the problem.

BP has said some garages in its 1,200-strong network were experiencing shortages – with Esso and Tesco also forced to close a small number of forecourts.

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However, one major supermarket has said there are no problems with petrol supplies.

An Asda spokesman told the ECHO the retailer is "not currently seeing any fuel supply issues" and that petrol stations are open as normal.

The Road Haulage Association has said there is a shortage of 100,000 drivers.

Motorists buying fuel at Costco.(Pic Andrew Teebay).
Motorists buying fuel at Costco.(Pic Andrew Teebay).

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has not ruled out deploying the army to forecourts or relaxing rules to ease the shortage of drivers.

When questioned about it on BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said: "If it can actually help, we will bring them in."

People are being advised to buy fuel "as usual".

A spokesman for the prime minister said the government acknowledged that there were "issues facing many industries across the UK, and not just in terms of HGV drivers".

He added that there was no shortage of fuel and that there was a "very resilient and robust supply chain".

A spokesman for car leasing provider urged motorists not to panic buy fuel.

He said: "We're urging our customers not to fill up unless they have to. As we understand the situation there is no need to panic buy petrol or diesel. If the local fuel station doesn't have fuel you should be able to find one nearby that does.

"Drivers should carry on as usual and not panic as filling up unnecessarily will only worsen the supply problem.”