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Motorists Desperate For Petrol Follow Tanker To Building Site

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Motorists Desperate For Petrol Follow Tanker To Building SiteAlamy

As concerns over fuel continue in parts of the UK, a group of motorists desperate for petrol followed a tanker all the way to a building site. 

Worries over fuel shortages caused by a lack of lorry drivers has sparked a wave of panic-buying and even the enlisting of the British Army to drive tankers.

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In a fuel-hungry blunder, more than 20 motorists followed a tanker for miles along a dual carriage way, believing it to be delivering petrol to a station and therefore thinking they’d be able to fill up.

However, the drivers were left bitterly disappointed after trailing the tanker and its driver, Johnny Anderson, all the way to its final destination – of a building site – and learning what the lorry had actually been carrying.

Charvil, Berkshire, UK. 26th September, 2021. The Texaco petrol station on the A4 in Charvil has run out of fuel and only their shop is open. The petrol shortage crisis has got worse over the weekend as people have been panic buying. The ongoing shortage of HGV drivers following Brexit continues. Credit: Maureen McLean/Alamy Live News -Alamy

Instead of petrol, the tanker had in fact been transporting 44 tonnes of mortar, BBC News reports.

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On Thursday, September 30, Anderson drove from Wolverhampton to a building site in a village in Northamptonshire, but when he reached his final destination, he was met with a frustrated response from those who had been tailing him.

He said: ‘The man at the front… actually said “You could have stopped and told us you weren’t a petrol tanker”.’

On Monday, September 27, a meeting took place between Boris Johnson and senior officials and ministers, which saw the Army placed on standby to assist with the crisis.

It was announced that up to 150 military tank drivers would prepare to transport fuel to petrol stations to help ease the crisis, after days of panic buying took place by motorists.

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Despite transport secretary Grant Shapps urging the public to ‘be sensible’, Anderson was tailed by ‘about 20 cars’.

Fuel crisis - Esso fuel Tanker driver fills up tanks ESSO Holtspur Service station Beaconsfield. Tanker Drivers dispute Fuel crisis April 2012Alamy
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He told BBC News he ‘noticed nobody was overtaking’ him on the A43, but noted a build up of traffic accumulating behind him.

Anderson said that when he ‘eventually turned left into a road that would take [him] to the site entrance’, he realised ‘all these cars turned left’ with him.

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He said:

The man at the front wound down his window and asked me which petrol station I was going to.

When I said I wasn’t, he asked me ‘Why not?’ and when I said I wasn’t carrying petrol, he actually said ‘You could have stopped and told us you weren’t a petrol tanker.’

I couldn’t believe it… I just went full McEnroe and said ‘You cannot be serious!’

Anderson noted how another man behind him also asked where the closest petrol station was located, which he called ‘beggars belief’.

Taplow, UK. 26th September, 2021. The Shell petrol station on the A4 in Taplow, Buckinghamshire has run out of fuel and only their shop is open. The petrol shortage crisis has got worse over the weekend as people have been panic buying. The ongoing shortage of HGV drivers following Brexit continues. Credit: Maureen McLean/Alamy Live NewsAlamy
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While he thought the situation was ‘quite funny’ he also noted the possible dangers of a vehicle like his having been followed. Anderson explained that if petrol tankers are followed, ‘their training is to call the police’.

He concluded that people need to be more careful, as driving a tanker ‘no matter what the product’ is ‘quite a pressurised job’.

‘Following them puts extra pressures on drivers already under pressure without having to worry about absolute morons,’ Anderson said.

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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Britain, Now, Petrol

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BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Fuel supplies: Mortar tanker tailed by drivers looking for petrol