Hour-long queues for petrol in Barking and Dagenham

Residents in one of the London’s most deprived boroughs have described waiting over an hour for fuel as queues of cars build up at petrol stations.

Barking and Dagenham motorists said that although waiting times at petrol stations had improved, some queued up for hours only to find stations had run out of fuel.

Reji John of Barking, said: “Last week I had to wait for over an hour – the other day it took half an hour.

“Hopefully now it will be better. Most trips have been about 20-30 minutes. 

“I never panic buy – I wait until the petrol goes down to around 20/30 per cent.” 

However, he added that residents have been supporting each other during the shortage via an online group.

He said: “We have a neighbourhood WhatsApp group so people will say which stations have got fuel, so that helps.

“Otherwise I would have to go from one place to another looking for petrol.

“I know people that have gone to a station with no fuel – from there they have to go to another to find it.

“Sometimes people join the queue for a long time and then there is no petrol – we have managed to avoid these things because of the group.”

A Barking man who did not want to be named added that they had steered clear of petrol stations because of the build up of traffic.

He said: “I try to avoid petrol stations because I don’t want to be caught up in traffic. 

“I filled up just before the shortage and again yesterday. When I did, the queue was not long at all.

“But there’s been long queues here – the queues are crazy.”

A spokesperson for Barking and Dagenham Council said that the fuel shortages had not severely impacted essential services in the area.

They said: “We are yet to see any impact on council services, but we are confident that we have plans in place to ensure there are no disruptions to our services.”

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Alastair Lockhart

Local Democracy Reporter