A SALISBURY petrol station employee has opened up to the Journal about what it was like to work during a weekend of fuel shortages and panic buying.

The employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed their concerns about how their garage's lack of petrol was affecting the city, in particular NHS and Salisbury District Hospital staff.

This comes as petrol stations in and around Salisbury started to reveal their fuel shortages last week, which was quickly followed by a surge of panic buying.

Some of the stations experiencing shortages included the BP garages on Wilton Road, London Road and Downton Road, and the Esso New Sarum service station on Southampton Road.

The member of staff revealed to the Journal that their already delayed fuel delivery arrived at the end of last week, due to the national driver shortage and lorry repairs, but the site had once again ran out by the following day.

Friday being the main day of 'panic buying', the employee said the queues for their petrol station were causing traffic issues and "gridlock" across the city.

Talking about their work experience on Saturday, September 25, the employee said: "A lot of people were calling up and asking if we had any fuel yet.

"One regular customer, a carer - as are many of our customers - was telling us how she and her colleagues were totally unable to make house calls because of the traffic queues causing gridlock. She seemed quite distraught.

"Ambulances kept pulling up and were made to leave because we simply didn't have anything for them.

"We even tried for one ambulance to see if we could unlock the pumps and get the last little bits of diesel we had for them, but nothing would come out."

Talking further about the toll the fuel shortage was having on local NHS staff, the employee added: "One guy asked if we were still doing petrol for NHS staff and even though he was still being lovely and polite as I had to turn him away, he seemed so stressed and upset beneath that.

"Honestly, if no one's died because of this already, I think we're going to start hearing about it very soon as this drags on."

Last week transport secretary Grant Shapps said motorists should “carry on as normal” and not panic-buy petrol, and BP garages revealed they were prioritising deliveries to key sites such as motorway service stations during this time.

The Salisbury member of staff added: "The whole situation is a disgrace and I think that if there is no intervention to ensure fuel goes to the people that really truly need it, there will be severe consequences."

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