A major Brent road was in gridlock at 2am as ambulances struggled to drive past amid the third day of a national petrol panic buying crisis.
Nationally, motorists have been causing gridlock on major roads as panic buyers flock to petrol stations after reports that a small number of BP and Tesco petrol stations have been forced to close as a shortage of HGV drivers meant they could not be restocked in time.
The issue continues to persist for a third day in both Harrow and Brent, with large queues forming very early into the morning and further delays already beginning.
However the situation became so bad at the BP station in Blackbird Hill, Wembley this morning (September 26) that the entire stretch of the road was still in gridlock roughly at 2am.
The road is a vital one that connects Brent to sections of Wembley, Kingsbury and Neasden, however cars could barely move in the early morning as traffic was at a standstill.
The Harrow Times observed as an ambulance with its siren on struggled to manoeuvre around the traffic and it was stuck for at least five minutes.
However it took roughly 15 minutes for cars heading from Neasden to Wembley to get past the gridlock.
And when observed, some cars queued for as long as 30 minutes to access the BP petrol station in attempt to fill their tanks.
Similar issues were seen in Pinner, as a queue for the Shell station at Pinner Green stretched as far back as Uxbridge Road near 6am.
The UK Petroleum Industry Association has said distributors are working hard to replenish stocks after the president of the AA blamed panic-buying for the shortage of fuel.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “There are no reported issues with the production, storage, or import of fuels while distributors are working hard to replenish stocks at forecourts.
“Customers should continue to buy fuel as they would normally.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called the fuel shortage a “manufactured situation” created by a road haulage association.
Speaking to Sky News today, the Cabinet minister said: “We need to ensure that people are reassured now that this rather manufactured situation has been created, because there’s enough petrol in the country.”
Asked who manufactured the situation, he said: “There was a meeting which took place about 10 days ago, a private meeting in which one of the haulage associations decided to leak the details to media, and that has created, as we have seen, quite a large degree of concern as people naturally react to those things.
“The good news is there is plenty of fuel, the bad news is if everyone carries on buying it when they don’t need it then we will continue to have queues.
“Sooner or later everyone’s cars will be more or less filled up, there won’t be anywhere else to put fuel. It’s not like the toilet roll crisis at the beginning of the pandemic where people could stockpile it, therefore it will come to an end.
“We just appeal to people to be sensible, fill up when you normally would. We’ve got this big package in place today in order to help alleviate the pressure and we ask people to do their part.”