Drivers told only to fill petrol tanks up to a quarter in warnings not to panic buy amid lorry driver shortage fears

DRIVERS have been told to only fill tanks up to a quarter but not to panic buy as the lorry driver chaos continues.

BP and Tesco have been forced to close a "handful" of petrol stations because of a shortage of drivers preventing supplies getting to forecourts.

Now, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says drivers should add "a little bit" of petrol to their cars in the "rare instance" that their garage is lacking supplies.

But, the PRA's executive director Gordon Balmer said drivers "shouldn't be concerned" and should "buy fuel as normal" during an appearance on Good Morning Britain today.

And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had "plenty of petrol" in a bid to dissuade the mounting panic.

Mr Balmer – whose group represents the forecourts of two-thirds of Britain's petrol stations – said that most petrol stations are "open for business".

He said: "What we are recommending is if you go to a forecourt, try and manage your own fuel stock so you have a little bit in your tank, say a quarter of a tank.

"So, if that particular service station doesn't have the grade of fuel that you need you have the option to go to another fuel court to stock up."

He earlier told the Evening Standard: "BP have been having difficulties as you know.

"Others, Tesco, a bit more sporadic, but by and large most other companies seem to be operating and open for business fine.

"The nub of the problem is the lorry drivers.

"Some companies have their fleet in-house so they have their own driver pool, others outsource it to third-party haulage firms.It’s really company-by-company."

On Thursday BP said it had closed a "handful" of its petrol forecourts due to a lock of available fuel.

A "small number" of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted, Esso owner ExxonMobil, which runs the sites, said.

But hoards of drivers have been making late-night and early morning trips to stock up for fear the country's fuel supply could completely run out due to a lack of HGV delivery drivers.

This morning, huge queues were seen blocking access to petrol stations across the country.

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