Bus firms across Essex are warning passengers to expect delays again today due to queues forming at petrol stations. 

Both Arriva and First Essex have issued warnings this morning about disruption or changes to their services as a result of patrol panic buying.

First has been forced to divert its 22 and 28 services in south Essex. 

Both services heading Basildon bound are now diverting via Five Bells from Pitsea.

The Southend to Canvey service (number 21) is also no long able to serve the Manor Road estate due to queues at petrol stations. 

Arriva had meanwhile been forced to alter its number 1 service in Southend due to queues. 

However, in an update just after 8am, it said the service would run as normal after petrol stations along the route were forced to close due to a shortage.

The firm is still warning about potential delays and changes to services throughout the day.

It comes as Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, told LBC this morning some petrol brands are seeing as many as 90% of their sites running dry.

He said: “We did a straw poll yesterday morning of a number of our members who have around 200 sites between them.

“Fifty per cent of those we spoke to said their sites were dry and some actually said 90 per cent of their sites were dry, so it is on a company-by-company basis and almost on a brand-by-brand basis because some oil companies are still relatively okay in terms of deliveries.”

When asked about possible Government plans to grant temporary visas to get more HGV drivers, Mr Balmer said: “We are a fuel retailing trade association, not a logistics company, but I would have thought anything like that is going to help, but from what I hear maybe that’s not enough, so I know the Government are looking at other measures such as drafting in military drivers.

“What we’re hoping is a lot of people have filled up over the weekend, a lot of people only fill up once a month, that might give us some respite to start to replenish stocks over the next few days.”