Police forced to jump queue for petrol in Hackney while ambulance crashes into queueing cars

·3-min read
A paramedic walks past a line of ambulances  (PA )
A paramedic walks past a line of ambulances (PA )

Police had to jump the queue to get vital fuel while an ambulance crashed into cars queuing for petrol as the HGV crisis rumbles on.

Officers had to drive ahead of motorists queueing at a petrol station in Hackney, north east London, to avoid running out of fuel.

A spokesperson said: “Police have fuel supply for patrol cars at certain bases in the Met and the supplies there are perfectly adequate but in this case, they were not going to get there.

“The closest base was in Romford but they were in Hackney. Everybody seemed more than willing and understanding to allow them to go ahead.”

Meanwhile in Bromley, an ambulance on an emergency call was seen hitting the back of a car as it tried to navigate its way through a line of vehicles waiting at a Shell garage.

The paramedic then had to stop and swap details with the other driver, according to The Sun, and an alternative ambulance was sent to attend the emergency.

Long queues for petrol stations have been witnessed for a third consecutive day (PA)
Long queues for petrol stations have been witnessed for a third consecutive day (PA)

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We can confirm that one of our ambulances was involved in a collision with another vehicle on Bromley Hill at approximately 6.55pm on September 25, while on a blue light call to a patient.

Watch: Drivers queue at petrol stations amid fuel panic

“As a result of the incident, the ambulance was out of service for a short amount of time and a different ambulance crew attended the patient.”

It follows an argument at a petrol garage in Chichester, West Sussex, where four men were reportedly involved in a fight on Friday.

One paramedic also told of struggling to find fuel while on shift in an emergency ambulance on Friday.

Panic buying is causing “really serious problems” at petrol stations with at least half reporting they are out of fuel, according to a sector spokesperson.

Demand at one service station spiked by 500 per cent on Saturday compared with last week as oil companies prioritise motorway forecourts amid a shortage of specialist tanker drivers, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said.

Queues at stations continued for a third day on Sunday despite reassurances from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that there is “plenty” of fuel available.

But Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, said the government was “loath to recognise” that supplies were stuck at refineries or storage depots and were not being delivered to forecourts due to current supply issues.

Ministers said the leak sparked the rush among drivers to fill up (PA)
Ministers said the leak sparked the rush among drivers to fill up (PA)

He said the creation of 5,000 HGV foreign driver visas, announced by the government on Saturday, was unlikely to alleviate petrol pressures in the “ultra-short term”.

“We might see benefits of them later in the autumn as the drivers come across and start to work,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.

“But in the very short term this panic buying has caused really serious problems.

“I’ve talked to a lot of our members this morning. They serve the main roads, the rural areas, the urban roads, and anywhere in between 50% and 90% of their forecourts are currently dry, and those that aren’t dry are partly dry and running out soon.”


With motorway pumps running low, the outgoing association chairman said oil companies were “giving motorway service areas priority delivery”, resulting in drivers “flocking” on to the nation’s major highways to fill up.

“There is plenty of fuel in this country but it is in the wrong place for the motorists,” Mr Madderson added.

Fuel remains in the terminals and the refineries but the amount that can be shipped and delivered to the forecourts is limited by two things, he explained.

This includes the availability of specialist tankers and trained drivers.

Watch: Minister: Fuel crisis caused by Covid, not Brexit

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