One union admitted that while it didn’t want to cause panic, it was preparing behind the scenes to advise members to review their emergency plans for home learning.
Taxi drivers and traders have also warned that the shortage will impact their livelihoods and customers.
Taxi drivers refuse to work to save what little fuel they have left for regular jobs transporting children with special needs to school or elderly patients to hospital appointments.
“No fuel means I can’t drive, which means I can’t get to work”
David Lawrie, director of the Manchester-based National Private Hire and Taxi Association, said if his drivers couldn’t work it would have a huge ripple effect on local communities.
“The shortage was created by panic buying,” he said. “We see people arriving in old cars they haven’t driven in weeks or gas guzzling SUVs, filling them with £ 70 of fuel just to sit on the ride. “
Independent electrician Roland McKibbin, 31, of Beckenham, south-east London, visited four gas stations and then had to wait 90 minutes before he could half-fill his tank on Monday.
“The lack of fuel means I can’t drive, which means I can’t get to work with my tools,” he said.
“The panic buying idiots caused me to lose income and directly took food from my wife and five year old son because unfortunately I cannot wire people’s homes from home. ”