Worried drivers are causing huge queues at gas stations for a third day as many retailers are forced to turn off their pumps.

Long lines of cars form in forecourts across the county as the fuel crisis continues.

No fuel: Sainsbury’s in the Park Farm industrial area (51607961)

Replacement buses were delayed between Sevenoaks, Paddock Wood and Tunbridge Wells due to road congestion.

A shuttle operates between Sevenoaks and Hildenborough and passengers are asked to change at Sevenoaks if traveling between Hildenborough and Tonbridge.

Panic buying rather than supply chain issues is causing the shortage, the president of an auto association said.

It comes as images circulate on social media of people filling up cans for the purpose of storing fuel.

Edmund King, chairman of the AA, told BBC Breakfast the problem should soon go away if drivers only refuel when they need it.

BP is Cheriton Road, Cheriton (51608128)
BP is Cheriton Road, Cheriton (51608128)

But other industry experts have pointed to the Covid pandemic, Brexit and grievances over wages and working conditions leading to a shortage of truck drivers.

Today, drivers continue to line up to find fuel for the work week.

KentOnline reporter Sean Axtell struggled to refuel this morning.

BP station at Seabrook (51608259)
BP station at Seabrook (51608259)

He visited six gas stations in the Folkestone and Hythe district – only two of which had fuel.

BP garages in Seabrook, Cheriton and Hythe had all shut down their pumps, as had Sainsbury’s in the Park Farm industrial area in Folkestone and Gulf station on Tram Road.

The Shell in Cheriton had huge queues on Cheriton Road, forcing drivers to pass on the wrong side of the road.

The Tesco hypermarket on Cheriton High Street also had fuel, with dozens of cars in the forecourt and queues stretching out to the main road.

Shell in Cheriton Road, Cheriton (51608198)
Shell in Cheriton Road, Cheriton (51608198)

The Spar Parkfoot garage on the A20 West Malling prioritizes fuel for hospital staff.

“We’re trying to put NHS workers first, but to be honest most of the people in the queue are NHS workers,” the official said in a video on social media.

“We have about 4,000 liters of unleaded gasoline that should last the afternoon, but we have about 15,000 liters of diesel that should last most of the day, I hope.

“So I’m sorry if you’re in the queue and you have to wait, but we’re doing our best.

Fuel pumps ran dry at M2 and M20 gas stations yesterday as motorists continue to panic to buy.

There is still no fuel available at the M20 petrol station at junction 8 for Leeds Castle.

It comes after days of queues and delays around numerous forecourts and motorists lining up all night to refuel – causing headaches for many and fears among tourists that they might end up. blocked.

BP in Hythe (51608299)
BP in Hythe (51608299)

The government plans to grant temporary visas to more than 10,000 workers to get Christmas back on track after concerns were raised about a supply shortage.

Sources in Downing Street have said the program, which reports will temporarily lift visa restrictions for foreign drivers, will be a “short-term solution”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, Brian Madderson, president of the Petrol Retailers Association, said the creation of 5,000 foreign truck driver visas, announced by the government on Saturday, was unlikely to ease the pressure on “ultra-short-term” gasoline. .

“We might see some benefits later in the fall when the drivers show up and start working, but in the very short term this panic buy has caused very serious problems,” he said.

“I spoke to many of our members this morning. They serve main roads, rural areas, urban roads, and between 50 and 90% of their plots are currently dry, and those that are not are partly dry and soon run out.

“There is a lot of fuel in this country but it is not in the right place for motorists. It’s still in the terminals and the refineries, and the amount they can now ship and deliver to the forecourt is limited by two things.

“One, the availability of equipment, the tankers themselves. These are specialized tankers capable of delivering in pods, in these large trucks, a wide variety of fuels to the forecourt.

“There is a finite number of them and there is obviously a finite number of trained conductors, and that’s the problem, that this number of finished conductors has been reduced.”

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