Week's worth of fuel gone in hours at village filling station
- Credit: Liz Coates
A village petrol station has described chaotic scenes on a manic Monday as cars queued round the block for fuel.
Having spotted a tanker, motorists were quick to descend on Repps Service Station on the A149 near Potter Heigham, waiting in laybys, blocking drives and generally causing traffic chaos.
Panic buying at the pumps has continued since Friday, despite government reassurances that there is more than enough to go round.
A worker at the garage said she had to have words with one driver who had pushed in claiming he was "partially sighted."
On another occasion she had to reason with a man who wanted to fill cans for his lawnmower while a carer was in tears because she was unable to get to the people that needed her.
The assistant said the garage was "solid all day" after getting a delivery at around midday on Monday.
All the diesel was gone by 10pm and the unleaded pumps were turned off this morning (Tuesday, September 28)
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Having turned off illuminated signs and put labels on the pumps there was still a steady stream of people cruising hopefully around the forecourt.
Overall, the employee said people had been generally well behaved with only a handful of minor confrontations including one woman who squared up to a customer thinking he had pushed in when in fact he was only visiting the shop.
To try and control supplies the pumps had been shut off at 30 litres, so no-one took more than their fair share.
Usually a full delivery would last around a week.
"When they saw the tanker everyone piled in," she said.
"They were in the lay-bys and queuing back to Martham. It created no end of problems on the road. I am surprised the police weren't called.
"It is the same for everyone."
The estimated wait was around an hour and a quarter.
The whole saga had been stressful for staff, but she thought it would ease off in the next few days.
The next delivery is expected on Thursday.
Meanwhile, petrol stations across Great Yarmouth were still coned off with signs apologising for having no fuel.
At the Esso garage on the White Horse Roundabout an ice-cream van, a bus, and highways vehicles were among those queueing for fuel.
The Jet Petrol station in Northgate Street was also empty, an attendant there saying they did now know when the next delivery would be.
Situated in a tight urban space tempers were fraying at the time our reporter was on scene as motorists pulled in to check supplies and the area became clogged.
Meanwhile Swift Taxis, which is already experiencing a shortage of drivers, said it was managing during the crisis.
Although drivers were having to hunt around for fuel they had not yet encountered any serious issues.
Kevin Boyne said the impact of limits at petrol stations could affect their ability to do longer runs but at the moment they were able to go where their customers wanted.
At Albies Taxis, there were no issues because the firm had its own dedicated supply, which had been refilled on Thursday.
A spokesman for the company said it expected the crisis to ease soon.
Myline Dimascio, of Dimascio Ice Cream said her vans were still able to operate, but were having to limit rounds.
An end of season lull coupled with anxiety over fuel meant more people were staying at home, and trade at usually busy spots such has Scratby cliffs had noticeably fallen away.
"People are queuing for petrol instead of queuing for ice creams," she said. "There's no point sending the vans out and burning the fuel where there are not many people about."
At Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital it was business as usual with all services running as per normal, a spokesman said, adding: "We are working with any staff who may be affected."