Petrol shortage: South Yorkshire emergency services say shortage has not impacted response times

South Yorkshire’s police, fire and ambulance crews’ ability to respond to emergencies has not been affected by the recent ‘petrol shortage’.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 8:57 am

Several residents have expressed concerns that emergency workers in police cars, fire engines and ambulances will be unable to respond to crises because of the unavailability of petrol in garages.

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It comes after a rush of panic buying which was seen over the weekend left many petrol stations in Sheffield and nationwide unable to sell unleaded or diesel.

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File photo. Police and fire services in South Yorkshire say they have not been affected by the 'fuel shortage'. Picture Richard Ponter.

Today, South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they had not been affected in their duties.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is asking people to follow government advice and not panic buy fuel.

John McSorley, Strategic Commander for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Currently we have sufficient fuel stocks for our ambulance vehicles. We have robust business continuity plans in place to ensure we are able to respond to patients needing our assistance and can invoke additional measures should they be required.

“We know that, like many others, some colleagues have found it difficult to obtain fuel for their own vehicles and we have a staff transport plan that can be activated should the situation escalate further.”

South Yorkshire Police’s Operation Support Unit Chief Inspector, Darren Starkey, said: “As a force we have contingency plans in place to ensure that emergency vehicles have access to sufficient fuel reserves. This enable us to continue responding to incidents and operating as usual.

“We are aware there have been queues for fuel at petrol stations around South Yorkshire this morning (September 27) and would urge people to be sensible and considerate while queuing, ensuring roads are passable.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said fuel stocks were at normal levels and there are no impacts on their work.

Nationally however, nurses and key workers are warning that they will be unable to get into work if the run on petrol leaves them unable to use their vehicles.

If you have tips relating to which petrol stations are closed or out of petrol in Sheffield, email [email protected]

Why is there a fuel shortage?

Since Friday, the Government has tried to assuage fears that there is not a ‘fuel shortage’.

The panic buying began when a handful of BP garages reported they would have to shut because of a shortage brought on by a lack of HGV drivers to deliver fuel. Tesco was also affected.

However, this led motorists to buying up fuel at other non-affected petrol stations, which had led to an actual fuel shortage from Friday and over the weekend at the point of sale.

The issue at BP was itself exacerbated by the shortage of HGV drivers nationwide, Brexit and the pandemic.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has discouraged drivers from panic buying petrol, advising them to “carry on as usual”.

He told Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.”

Queues at forecourts has not been such a problem today – however, this is in part due to word of mouth spreading as to where has fuel to sell to begin with.

As well as ongoing fuel shortages, Sheffield motorists are being urged to plan ahead and book their vehicles in for MOTs amid a fear of a shortage of appointments in the city.