MOTORISTS have continued to face some long queues for fuel today as petrol stations continue to be effected by reduced deliveries.

Despite a senior government minister insisting there is 'plenty of fuel' in the UK, petrol stations are struggling to keep up with demand amid supply issues and panic buying.

In Gwent, while some petrol stations have remained open or have reopened after receiving deliveries, others have closed until new supplies arrive.

And some have been limiting the amount that customers can buy in a single visit.

The availability of petrol and diesel in Gwent and other parts of south Wales - mirrored in many other areas of Wales and the UK - has remained patchy.


South Wales Argus: The Tesco petrol station on Cardiff Road in Newport was closed over the weekend.The Tesco petrol station on Cardiff Road in Newport was closed over the weekend.

In a snapshot of the current unpredictability of supply and the effect of rising demand, the Tesco petrol station off Cardiff Road in Newport (above) was closed for much of yesterday, following the closure on Friday of the Sainsbury's petrol station at Crindau.

But early this afternoon the Tesco site had reopened, though queues had formed.

And at the Euro Garages station in Stow Hill, as of mid-afternoon today, there was petrol available, but not diesel.

South Wales Argus: Sainsbury's in Newport closed on Saturday due to fuel shortages.Sainsbury's in Newport closed on Saturday due to fuel shortages.

The Sainsbury's petrol station in Newport had to close for a period on Friday


For the last two days, up and down the UK, queues have formed for fuel, in the aftermath of warnings that a shortage of delivery drivers would cause shortages at the pumps.

And the issue has today descended into a row between the UK government and the Road Haulage Association over alleged comments about supply concerns.

South Wales Argus: Queues for the Texaco garage in Pontymister.Queues for the Texaco garage in Pontymister.

Speaking to Sky News' Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme, transport minister Grant Shapps said queues and closures at fuel stations are a "manufactured situation" created by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) leaking comments from BP bosses about supply concerns.

The Road Haulage Association has denied this, saying the accusation was "entirely without foundation."

Mr Shapps said: "We need to ensure that people are reassured now that this rather manufactured situation has been created, because there's enough petrol in the country."

Asked who manufactured the situation, he said: "There was a meeting which took place about 10 days ago, a private meeting in which one of the haulage associations decided to leak the details to media, and that has created, as we have seen, quite a large degree of concern as people naturally react to those things."

Drivers rushed out to the forecourts after BP announced on Thursday it had closed a “handful” of its petrol forecourts due to a lack of available fuel.

In Gwent the situation manifested in places like Risca, where queues formed on Friday along the road near the Tesco filling station - and there were similar scenes in Newport, Chepstow and Caldicot.

Mr Shapps called for the public to be "sensible" and only fill up their cars when needed as there is "plenty of fuel" available.

Rod McKenzie, of the Road Haulage Association, told the PA news agency: "The allegation against me is nonsense.

"I was not in the meeting. I was not briefed about the meeting afterwards. I certainly didn't brief any journalists about the meeting about which I knew nothing.

"It is entirely without foundation."

The Government announced a temporary visa scheme that will see 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers brought in on three-month contracts to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys and tackle fuel delivery difficulties.

The Petrol Retailers Association said panic buying had caused "serious problems" for stock levels, and "anywhere in between 50 per cent and 90 per cent" of its members' forecourts had run out of fuel, with others "partly dry and running out soon".