Police in the south have asked petrol stations to shut temporarily to stop motorist panic buying fuel.

The action has been taken by Dorset Police as huge queues formed outside petrol stations across the county.

Hampshire police have said today they have not issued a similar warning.

Dorset motorists began queueing as early as 6am this morning as petrol panic seemed to be spreading.

There were long queues onto the road at garages in Christchurch and Bournemouth, with the Murco garage in the town's Southbourne Grove particularly busy.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after 8.30am in a bid to keep control of the situation.

They stopped drivers queuing in the way of traffic and tempers flared as some tried to cut the queue from the other side of the road.

This morning police have urged motorists not to panic buy fuel following reports of traffic congestion at petrol stations around the county.

Chief Inspector Nick Maton said: “There is no disruption to the fuel supply in the UK and members of the public should not panic buy.

“The actions of some motorists in queuing irresponsibly at petrol stations is causing danger to other road users.

“Police are taking action, requesting petrol stations to close temporarily in order to keep traffic flowing. “Once the queues have dispersed, the petrol stations may re-open for short periods.”