Petrol stations run dry after panic fuel buying in Islington over strike fears

Petrol stations have run dry as panic buying hit Islington yesterday.

Fuel pumps were empty in Upper Street, City Road and Holloway Road this morning after drivers swamped the stations yesterday.

The buying was sparked by the threat of a tanker drivers’ strike and Conservative minister Francis Maude suggesting people should hoard fuel.

Sukumer Jothimahalingam, who works at the Shell garage in Holloway Road, Holloway, which is today turning away drivers, said: “We are out of stock. We had too many customers yesterday and took about �25,000 in eight hours. They were panicked. I have never seen anything like this before and I’ve worked here for three years.”

Mr Jothimahalingam said a delivery is due this evening.

Shah Rehman, sales assistant at the Upper Street, Islington, branch of Shell, said: “We ran out last night. There was a long queue for each and every pump. Everybody was worried, but they know it’s not our fault, so they weren’t getting angry.”

A council spokesman claimed a fuel delivery has been seen at Upper Street this afternoon.

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Sahid Eslam, supervisor at Shell in Old Street, said: “We’ve completely run out. We got around three times the usual amount of customers. We don’t know when we’ll next get a top-up, maybe tonight after 8pm, but we’re not sure.”