Fury on the forecourts - the worst things we saw this week
This week forecourts across Britain turned into boxing rings, as angry motorists put all commonsense aside to participate in our new national sport - panic buying - a pursuit perfected during the lockdown.
Remember the panic for bog roll and pasta as Covid hit? If not, read this refresher.
Motorists were told last week not to panic-buy petrol because there was nothing to panic about. But of course, this led to panic at the pumps, and that panic led to punches. Lots of punches being thrown and long, winding queues, even for petrol stations that weren't even open.
Not to mention the enterprising, if somewhat illegal, methods utilised to store away more fuel. One bag of fuel, please.
Here's your fill of the worst moments this week.
Panic! At the petrol station
The "crisis" forced some motorists to think outside the box - *petrol can - in their desperate bid to fill up with fuel. Desperate times called for desperate measures this week.
This man clearly has a jumbo jet he needs to fill up because there's no other reason why he needs so much, so soon.
A fine example of not just the stupidity of panic-buying, but perhaps, also the selfishness.
The irony being this. He will store it in his house or shed. It will ignite and the fire brigade will be called but will have run out of petrol. pic.twitter.com/gr40s6W1Wr
— Steve 🌎 🇬🇷🇪🇺💙 #European #takebackBritain (@poorscousertom) September 26, 2021
Queues, queues, queues
Brits took their love of a queue to another level this week and things got so bad the army was put on standby.
Footage shared online revealed monster queues of cars waiting hours, and hours, to get into petrol stations. This video of a petrol station in Sutton demonstrated just how bad it got.
A petrol station in Sutton, London had an oil delivery an hour ago and this is what’s happened! 3 different roads clogged up with 7 active buses stuck! Verbal fights breaking out and chaos just for some petrol! #petrolcrisis #PanicAtThePumps #PetrolShortages #petrolpanic pic.twitter.com/W50csdOJxG
— William Humphreys (@Humpers92) September 28, 2021
Then of course there was the woman who openly admitted on television that she was "only queueing because everybody else is queueing", in a moment that perfectly summed up why there was a shortage of fuel in the first place.
Things got worse when hundreds of people filled up their cars with the wrong fuel. The president of the AA warned that not only did this add to the chaos on the roads, but it also made even less fuel available as "the whole tank has to be drained before refilling with the correct fuel."
Even more fuel-ishly, in Burnaston, up to a hundred cars waited to fill up at a station that wasn't even open.
Fuelling fights on forecourts
Just like at the pub, when people have had too much to drink, or get cut-off from their fun-fuel, there are fights.
And so it follows that happened on forecourts.
There was this ruckus in Camden...
🚨 | NEW: Fight at a petrol station in Camden
— News For All (@NewsForAllUK) September 26, 2021
...this scrap in London...
Road rage is at an all time high given the current petrol crisis! When will it end?
More madness at petrol pump station it getting crazyier by the day
Stay safe people pic.twitter.com/Ycopptxlay
— London & UK Crime (@CrimeLdn) September 28, 2021
... and this royal rumble, live from the 'Brexit Badlands'.
Stopped for fuel in Brexit Badlands and then... pic.twitter.com/tBMGDFowQw
— RIP Labour Party (@razisidd) September 25, 2021
The chaotic scenes in the UK didn't go unnoticed in Europe either, with one French media outlet describing the motorist mayhem as, "when the fear of running out of gas makes British drivers go wild."
This is how our country is being reported across the rest of Europe now:
Fights at petrol stations over Brexit fuel shortages. https://t.co/qmz1uTV2eT
— Dr Mike Galsworthy (@mikegalsworthy) September 28, 2021
The first image made the front page of the Mail. The man had a knife in his hand.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) September 28, 2021
But behind the mayhem - that many blamed the media for creating........ or fuelling, as it were....
real issues were exposed.
This tweet from one ambulance driver served as a useful reminder that there were people who genuinely needed petrol in the last week, but were left exasperated...
To everyone that panicked and went to fuel their cars when it wasn’t needed, well done👍🏻 on shift on an emergency ambulance, low on fuel and struggling to find somewhere that isn’t sold out😡 pic.twitter.com/mvZ31w46jn
— Becky (@beckylouh11) September 24, 2021
That led to calls for emergency workers to be prioritised at the pumps, to guarantee care to patients as "there is a real risk that NHS staff won't be able to do their jobs", the British Medical Association said.
In a rare moment of positivity though, one petrol station in Worcester deliberately saved 1,500 litres of each fuel grade specifically for emergency services and key workers to use.
Money can't buy you everything
Perhaps the last seven days have served as a useful reminder that in a Mad-Max world we are all equal and that while money can buy you a lot of things - it can't guarantee you a full tank. Or happiness.
Cristiano Ronaldo's driver queued for seven hours to fill up the footballer's £220,000 Bentley - and gave up in the end.
A source told the Sun: "Even with all Ronaldo’s money, he’s in the same boat as the rest of us.
"His security waited for hours obviously hoping a tanker would eventually arrive but they were forced to drive off.
"The two men looked so fed up waiting in the rain. Ronaldo might be housebound like everyone else if this keeps up."
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 30, 2021
Given Brexit was being blamed by many for the fuel shortage, it was somewhat fitting that its architect, Nigel Farage, felt the full brunt of it.
On Thursday, Farage revealed that he had to travel to seven different petrol stations before managing to fill up. And he had a minor car accident along the way.
The government tell us that the fuel crisis is easing…
I went to 7 petrol stations this morning and there was no fuel at any of them.
Was then hit by a van whilst stationary at a roundabout. Great start to the day!
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 30, 2021
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News earlier this week that there were "very tentative signs of stabilisation" as more and more people fill up their tanks and no longer need petrol.
But we may be in for a few days more of shortages at petrol stations, and there are fears that these scenes will be repeated around Christmas as the UK is still faced with a worrying shortage of HGV drivers. Despite the offer of Visa's - which expire on Christmas Eve - they don't want to help us out. Go figure.
@ People who managed to fill up at the weekend pic.twitter.com/AmiVZThLix
— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) September 27, 2021
So, will we learn anything from the petrol panic?
If the bog roll and pasta experience is anything go by, certainly not.
Britain, start your engines.