FRANTIC motorists eager to fill up on fuel almost came to blows yesterday as hundreds queued for petrol amid a national shortage.

Drivers waited for as long as 30 minutes to access some forecourts across Brighton as another episode of panic buying began.

Sussex Police warned motorists to stick to "normal buying behaviour" as tailbacks began to encroach on major highway routes.

Huge queues were seen at petrol stations across Sussex, with drivers snaking around Brighton Marina.

There was also congestion near Asda in Hollingbury and on the A259 near Hove Lagon, and Brighton Road in Shoreham.

The Argus:

The long waiting times aggravated some drivers, with a pair "almost" coming to blows at a BP filling station in Ditchling Road.

One passerby in Hove said the rush is causing "big tailbacks" along the A259.

They said: “Because people are queuing to get petrol it is then causing big tailbacks along the A259.

“People are now out talking to drivers to try to get it organised.

“It has caused quite a tailback heading towards Shoreham from Hove.

“Not everyone wants petrol but they are caught up in it.

“It looks like staff are talking to drivers to try to organise it.”

The Argus:

One motorist waiting for petrol in Brighton Marina told The Argus that they are "obviously going to fill it to full just in case."

Another claimed to use the Asda filling station because "because prices elsewhere are too expensive."

It comes as Grant Shapps said on Friday that motorists should “carry on as normal”, despite the national shortage.

“The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well,” he told Sky News.

On Thursday BP said it had closed a “handful” of its petrol forecourts due to a lock of available fuel.

A “small number” of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted, said Esso owner ExxonMobil, which runs the sites.

He said: “As of last night, five petrol stations on the BP network out of 12 or 13 hundred were affected.

“I’m meeting this morning with Tesco and I’m sure they’ll give me the update for themselves.

“None of the other retailers said they had any closures.”

He added: “The others, Asda, Morrisons and other supermarkets, are saying they have no problems, as have other petrol companies.”

To the BBC’s Today programme Mr Shapps promised he would do what is needed to ensure that petrol gets to drivers.

“I’ll move heaven and Earth to do anything that’s required to make sure that lorries carry on moving our goods and services and petrol around the country,” he said.

He denied that Brexit was the culprit in the UK’s recent shortage of lorry drivers, arguing that the split from the European Union has helped the government react.

The AA said that most of the UK’s forecourts are working as they should amid worries over supply of petrol at some sites.