Emergency services reassure public they are not short of petrol but ask Leeds motorists to "just buy what you need"
The city's emergency services have reassured the public that despite panic at the petrol stations, their operations are not affected.
West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service say they have not been impacted by recent shortages but are monitoring the situation, which has seen chaos on petrol station forecourts and long queues outside.
All three emergency services say they have a contingency plan should issues with petrol supply and demand continue throughout the week.
It comes as ministers issued a fresh appeal to motorists to stop "panic buying" as Prime Minister Boris Johnson drew back from plans to deploy army troops to ensure fuel supplies reach forecourts.
The government is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and hope pressure will ease as motorists move back to routine buying patterns, following the surge in demand last week which led to huge queues at the pumps and some filling stations running out.
The region’s Local Resilience Forum told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "We would like to reassure people that our frontline emergency responders, including the police, fire and ambulance services, are not experiencing any issues due to the fuel shortage. All services have their own provisions to ensure they are self-sufficient for fuel.
"The LRF has liaised with all key partners and has confirmed there are no issues. Should any issues arise, our regional ‘Fuel Disruption Plan’ will be activated whereby mutual aid is offered where required to ensure business continuity. We will continue to communicate with all partners to monitor the situation.
"In the meantime, we would ask members of the public to fuel their cars as normal and only purchase what you need."
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue added that its operational response was unaffected by issues.
A spokesperson added: "We have business continuity plans in place for situations like this, and we will be monitoring the situation and updating plans if necessary. We’re also in communication with our partners to understand any impact the situation may have on them too."
Yorkshire Ambulance Service said while it was also currently unaffected, it was prepared to put a staff transport plan into place if needed.
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.”
For other businesses across the city, they were having mixed fortunes in relation to petrol supply issues, which The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), has blamed on the leak last week of concerns by BP about some shortages of tanker drivers needed to deliver fuel supplies.
The Jet Garage on Stanningley Road reported last night (Monday) that it has no fuel and was unsure when the next delivery would arrive. At the Spar Riverside petrol station on Kirkstall Road, they had enough fuel to see them until the end of yesterday and putting a spend limit on had eased the situation, but didn't know when their delivery would turn up.
A worker said: "People are panic buying where they should not do, it is going to be out of control. We were managing fine until that situation arose and started seeing an issue. They can't replenish the stocks quick enough because of the fuel going out of the stores."
Some of the city's taxi firms have been keeping other drivers informed of where to fill up but have been able to operate as normal, said Amber Taxis.
Andrew Thompson who has the Aardvark Driving School which teaches around the LS12 area said he had enough diesel to carry out lessons but was prepared to swap his diary around to make sure he could prioritise pupils going for tests.
He said: "I went out on Friday in the early evening when there were rumours and thought I had better get some but had some difficulty and didn't want to burn fuel looking for fuel. I left it until the next morning and got some with just three or four cars in front of me.
"I have got to admit I was a bit worried about a person due to take a test and was going to ask someone not to take a lesson to preserve fuel as examiners won't allow a test on a reserve tank.
"I have gone past various stations and they are not saying no diesel so I presume they must be getting through with fuel. At the moment I have confidence I will be able to carry on as normal because the last thing I want is someone who has been waiting months and months to take a driving test can't because of fuel problems."
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