A NORTH EAST driver was spotted filling up £217 worth of fuel with eight ‘huge’ jerry cans in the back of her car, prompting outrage among onlookers.

The driver had been seen at the Nisa Local garage on Oxbridge Lane in Stockton as dozens queued for fuel at lunchtime on Sunday.

Filling up a staggering 160 litres, the driver had reportedly filled six of eight 20 to 30 litre jerry cans as drivers looked in disbelief.

However, it has since been claimed the driver had agreed the transaction amount with garage bosses in advance of the visit, and that this had been done regularly. 

It comes as the Government has been urged to take action after emergency service workers reported being unable to access fuel amid reports of a shortage.

The Northern Echo: The fuel station in Stockton Picture: GOOGLEThe fuel station in Stockton Picture: GOOGLE

Speaking to The Northern Echo, a driver who saw the fuel being dispensed said they had ignored signage in the petrol station restricting spends to just £30.

'Pure greed'

He said: “They had signs up all along the petrol station saying that you should only spend up to £30 worth of fuel.

“I could see in the back of the car, there were eight massive jerry cans – the huge 20 or 30l versions, which are about two feet high.”

Prompting frustration, fellow drivers reportedly shared their disbelief at the scenes as one car behind the driver appeared visibly disgruntled.

He said: “The woman behind her was just tutting and she obviously couldn’t believe it. I went past and we both said we couldn’t believe it – it just seemed like pure greed.”

Earlier today, the British Medical Association warned that a growing shortage of fuel amid panic buying had meant there is a “real risk” of NHS staff being unable to do their jobs.

Scenes in the North East revealed large queues formed over the weekend at petrol stations as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there were no shortages of fuel.

The Northern Echo: A scene elsewhere in the country Picture: PAA scene elsewhere in the country Picture: PA

However, as scenes progressed petrol stations started to see pumps run dry with BP coming out on Sunday saying that a third of its UK sites were running empty.

That prompted Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of council at the British Medical Association, to this morning warn of the impact on the NHS and emergency services. 

He said: “Emergency and essential workers rely on fuel both to travel to work and for their work itself – whether this is to get to hospitals, practices and other healthcare settings, or for ambulances to reach people in urgent need of care and GPs to visit very ill patients at home.

“Everyone will have their own reasons for needing to fill up, but as pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it.

“While the Government has said it is putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel, the results of this won’t be immediate.

“Healthcare and essential workers must therefore be given priority access to fuel so they can continue their crucial work and guarantee care to patients.”

'The Government could solve this problem now'

Meanwhile, Unison this morning called on ministers to use emergency powers to “designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers”.

Unison’s general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Government has to take control. It’s no good ministers wasting time on a pointless blame game or pretending there’s no problem.

“Essential staff must be able to get to their jobs so they can continue to provide the services so many rely upon.

“Ambulance crews, nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, police staff and other key workers mustn’t be left stranded or forced to queue for hours simply to get to a pump.

“The Government could solve this problem now by using emergency powers to designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers.”

It was later understood that the driver purchases this amount of fuel most weeks, and had phoned the garage in advance.


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