James Nesbitt drama leaves drivers fuming after show takes over fully-stocked petrol station

Ambulance driver was among those to complain about not being able to access garage

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 02 October 2021 09:12
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Fuel crisis: Army drivers put on standby to deliver to petrol stations

British motorists were left disappointed after being turned away from a fully-stocked petrol station while it was being used for a new drama starring James Nesbitt.

The actor was pictured at a Texaco garage in Vauxhall, south London, filming for the Channel 4’ cop show Suspect, on the seventh day of the UK’s fuel crisis.

Customers were reportedly unable to access fuel at the garage for seven hours on Thursday morning (30 September), with the pumps having been refilled only the night before.

According to The Sun, signs were put up blocking the public from entering while filming was underway.

An ambulance driver in the queue for fuel told the paper: “At what point is Nesbitt’s new show more important than NHS staff and other desperate motorists filling up tanks?

“I was here last night and could not fill up. There were people queuing for hours. When we were turned away a lot of drivers got angry, shouted abuse and sounded their horns.”

The fuel station’s independent owner, who gave his name as Suki, told the publication: “The plan had been to allow the public to continue using the pumps. Unfortunately our tills’ computer system failed, so we could not serve fuel. It is a coincidence.

“We could not cancel filming and open the remaining pumps because we were contractually obliged to allow the film crew in. We told the crew to be as quick as possible, and were able to reopen around 7am. Filming here had been arranged for months when we had no idea of the fuel fiasco, which is obviously not of our making.

“It was very unfortunate but we sympathise with motorists.”

However, a Channel 4 spokesperson said filming was stopped on one occasion to allow emergency services to refuel.

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They added: “The forecourt was used from midnight to 5am on Thursday, during which time the area was safely cordoned off, with cast, crew and equipment clearly visible to drivers from a distance.”

Following reports that the UK is estimated to be short of more than 100,000 lorry drivers, customers across the country have been panic-buying petrol for over a week, with many filling stations left empty.

The resulting fuel shortages have prompted widespread disruptions including hours-long queues, fights at petrol station forecourts, and key workers unable to get to work.

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