PANIC-BUYING Brits queued through the night for petrol as Boris Johnson faces mounting pressure to send in the army now to ease the spiralling fuel crisis.
Desperate motorists reported long lines of cars at service stations across the country throughout the evening and into the early hours of morning.
Industry chiefs warned the frenzy is being fed by drivers posting details of deliveries to forecourts on social media, sparking a rush to the pumps.
Huge tailbacks were reported at 11pm, 3am, and 5.30am nationwide as the panic buying hysteria gripping the UK shows no sign of abating.
Today a senior Tory MP told the PM he must send troops in now to "return public confidence" and calm the public's nerves.
The MoD has dispatched 150 soldiers to start tanker driver training in case the crisis doesn't abate in the next few days.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We're asking army tanker drivers to be ready to deploy.
"And extending licences for fuel transporters to keep on road. If everyone buys fuel as normal petrol stations will revert to normal service."
It comes as…
- Welsh drivers blasted "crazy" English stockpilers who are jumping the border into Wales to fill their petrol tanks
- Thieves are drilling holes into parked cars to steal fuel after panic buying sparked a petrol shortage.
- Man United legend Paul Scholes was seen topping up a car with petrol from a jerry can
- Drivers faced confusion over the petrol crisis after a day of panic, U-turns and Government chaos
- Major petrol producers and experts begged Brits to stop panic buying and insisted there's no shortage of fuel
In a joint statement the UK's 10 biggest petrol suppliers insisted there is no shortage and the situation should stabilise in "the coming days".
But unions are now calling on No 10 to set aside some fuel supplies for emergency workers amid warnings lives are being put at risk.
Journalist Nick Dixon revealed he passed five petrol stations in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which were all completely dry.
He told GMB one of them had 8,000 litres of fuel at 4pm which would normally last a couple of days.
But panic buying motorists drained those supplies in just eight hours, and bosses don't know when they'll get anymore in.
Mr Dixon said queues in the area had been building since 4am as desperate motorists tried to fill their tanks.
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Brian Madderson, chair of the Petrol Retailers Association, said it was "disappointing" that people are continuing to panic buy.
He said: "As soon as a tanker arrives at a filling station, people on social media are advising that a tanker has arrived.
"Then it is like bees to a honey pot. Everyone flocks there and within a few hours it is out again.
"It is panic buying when you go to fill up your car to the entirety of its tank capacity which you wouldn't normally do.
"You would fill up, say, half. The average fill across the UK is about £25-worth. We have seen people filling up to £100-worth where they can."
Mr Madderson said his members have not imposed a £30 cap on motorists because they're worried about the risk of violence against staff.
In shocking scenes yesterday one driver pulled what appeared to be a knife on a forecourt before being run over in a "row over petrol".
The man was filmed shouting at the driver through his car window just outside of a petrol station in Welling, South East London.
Police were called to the scene and enquiries are ongoing.
There have been widespread reports of scuffles breaking out and workers being abused as as tensions boil over.
Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said Britain's petrol stations have become the "Wild West".
After queuing up only for the fuel to run out before everyone got to the pumps he witnessed a fight on the forecourt.
He said the "man behind me was furious and started punching the guard" before the brawl "became a melee of 8-10 men on the ground, punching and kicking".
Brits are also now being targeted by fuel thieves who are drilling into petrol tanks and siphoning off supplies.
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Commons defence committee, insisted troops should be sent in to restore calm.
He said: "The country wants to see the Government is in command. The army should not just be put on standby but in fact mobilised, be seen to be used.
"That will help ease the pressure on shortages of course, it will return public confidence."
Downing St has been pinning its hope on panic buying easing by the end of the week because so many cars now have full tanks.
But motor firm Halfords revealed sales of jerry cans rocketed by 1,656% this weekend as Brits stockpile supplies.
One woman was even filmed filling up water bottles at a forecourt as drivers waited in a 30-minute queue behind her.
The crisis has now entered its fifth day with few signs that the situation is easing.
Today an ex England rugby player revealed motorists are even tailing his brother-in-law who is a fuel truck delivery driver.
David Flatman, who was capped eight times at prop, said: “My brother-in-law is a lorry driver and delivers fuel.
“He’s on the road now and there are people following him – literally tracking his every turn – in cars.
“He says it’s like end of days. 2021 y’all.”
The army should not just be put on standby but in fact mobilised
Unions are now calling on the PM to set aside fuel stocks for emergency services workers so that they can carry on doing their jobs.
The British Medical Association said there's a growing danger some healthcare staff won't be able to get to "very ill patients at home".
Its plea comes after an ambulance driver was abused by motorists for filling up after it took her two days to find petrol.
Meanwhile cops were forced to jump a massive queue at a service station in Hackney, East London, so they didn't run out of gas.
And today teaching unions warned schools could be forced to close unless staff are given "urgent" priority access to fuel.
The escalating chaos is also set to worsen the cost of living crisis for many Brits with prices of fuel skyrocketing.
The cost of a litre of unleaded has shot up from 134.86p a week ago to 135.19p yesterday.
Diesel has similarly risen from 137.35p to 137.95p over the same period according to official Government figures.
Such has been the chaos at the pumps that hundreds of people have been filling up with the wrong fuel.
Motoring group AA reported that it was called out to 250 drivers over the weekend, compared to about 20 in normal times.
Commuters reported that the London Underground was busier than usual this morning as motorists ditched their cars.
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