Leighton Buzzard services and charities are urging residents not to ‘panic buy’ petrol as they are struggling to carry out daily activities.
Buzzer Buses Ltd and the Leighton-Linslade Helpers both spoke to the LBO about the impact the hysteria has caused over the past week or so.
Residents are now being advised to work from home where possible, and if they need petrol for journeys, to only purchase what is required, rather than filling their tanks to the limit.
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Speaking on Friday (October 1), a spokeswoman for Buzzer Buses Ltd said: “We have had to cancel our three weekly outings this last week and for next week, which is very disappointing as they are very important to our users.
“But we are prioritising medical appointments and shopping, especially for people who live alone.
“We are finding that our drivers are going out early morning and late evening in their own time to try and keep their bus on the road for which we are very grateful, but then our drivers are like that.”
June Tobin, lead co-ordinator of the Leighton-Linslade Helpers, told the LBO: “We have really struggled over the past two weeks to get volunteers to deliver food parcels and prescriptions because of the petrol shortages.
“We have gone from 70 down to 10. They feel terrible when they can’t come out.
“The demand hasn’t changed and the burden has fallen on just a small handful of volunteers who have been doing upwards of 40 miles per day.
“Tom Littlehales’s bicycle group called Living Streets have also been doing small deliveries for us.”
She added: “A massive thank you to our volunteers and to Living Streets, and to all the petrol station staff.”
The panic buying reportedly started after oil firm BP warned that it would have to “temporarily” close a handful of its petrol stations, because of a lack of lorry drivers.
Queues then built up outside stations across the country, amid fears that petrol might run out.
June said: “It’s been ridiculous, there’s been queues round Morrisons car park and it’s been the same for Tesco - queues out onto the road.
“There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie during the first lockdown but I think in some parts of our society it has been forgotten.”
The Leighton-Linslade Helpers are also assisting local authorities by storing clothing for Afghan refugees, and volunteers have been picking up van loads of donations.
If you need, help from either service, call 01525 853566 for the Buzzer Buses and 07517 851 382 for the Helpers.
Buzzer Buses: https://www.locaji.co.uk/bedfordshire/leighton-buzzard/buzzer-buses-ltd/334165/Leighton-Linslade Helpers: https://www.leightonlinsladehelpers.org.uk/