Cars accidentally follow mortar tanker after thinking it was carrying petrol

·2-min read
A mortar tanker (not pictured) was followed by 20 cars. (Getty)
A mortar tanker (not pictured) was followed by 20 cars. (Getty)

Around 20 cars tailed a mortar tanker after mistakenly thinking it was carrying petrol.

Tanker driver Johnny Anderson was shocked when he arrived at a building site in Northamptonshire with 44 tonnes of mortar and saw a line of vehicles behind him.

The cars had started following him when he set off from Bilston, Wolverhampton, on Thursday, the BBC reported.

When Anderson got out and told them he was not carrying petrol a disappointed driver told him “you could have stopped and told us you weren't a petrol tanker".

Many UK gas stations were still dry on Friday after a chaotic week that has seen panic-buying, fights at the pumps and drivers hoarding fuel after the acute shortage of truckers strained supply chains.

Tanker driver Johnny Anderson was shocked when he saw the cars behind him. (BBC)
Tanker driver Johnny Anderson was shocked when he saw the cars behind him. (BBC)

Anderson, who drives for Weaver Haulage, first noticed he was being followed while driving on the A43.

He said: "I didn't notice initially but then on the dual carriageway, I noticed nobody was overtaking me and saw a string of about 20 cars behind me.

"When I eventually turned left into a road that would take me to the site entrance, all these cars turned left with me."

Anderson said he initially thought something had fallen off his tanker because the cars were honking their horns.

Anderson said although the incident was funny, some drivers were putting unnecessary pressure on his collegues.

He added: "People need to stop and think... driving a tanker, no matter what the product, is quite a pressurised job, so following them puts extra pressure on drivers already under pressure without having to worry about absolute morons."

'Out of Use' signs are displayed on the fuel pumps at a filling station in Baker Street, central London, on October 2, 2021. - Troops are expected to be deployeed within days to help ease the crisis, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting this week that the situation was returning to normal. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Petrol has run out at some stations due to panic buying. (Getty)

Ministers have insisted for days the crisis is abating or even over, but retailers said more than 2,000 gas stations were dry and dozens of pumps across London and southern England were still closed.

From Monday, the government said it would deploy almost 200 military tanker personnel, 100 of which are drivers, to assist with fuel deliveries to gas stations and help address a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

Last Sunday, the government announced a plan to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers and 5,500 poultry workers to alleviate shortages.

Some of the truck drivers said they would decline the visas because the timeframe was not long enough.

The government tweaked those plans on Friday, introducing a bespoke scheme to allow up to 300 fuel tanker drivers to come to the UK immediately but temporarily.

Watch: Fuel crisis eases but 'remains critical' in parts of UK

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