THE petrol crisis is “virtually over” in Scotland, according to fuel bosses, while the army is being deployed to help deliver supplies in the south of England.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) say only six per cent of pumps remain dry here, with the scenes of panic buying and shortages last week appearing to have come to an end.

It comes as army tanker drivers are taking to the roads to deliver supplies to beleaguered petrol stations down south hit by the crisis.

Around 200 military personnel – half of them drivers – are being deployed in Operation Escalin, despite ministers insisting the situation at the pumps is easing.

The troops – who have been on standby since the start of last week – will initially be concentrated in London and the South East, where the worst shortages remain.

HeraldScotland:

UK Government Ministers have faced criticism for not sending them out earlier after a wave of panic-buying – prompted by reports that supplies to filling stations were being hit – led to chaos on the forecourts.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We are working closely with industry to help increase fuel stocks and there are signs of improvement in average forecourt stocks across the UK with demand continuing to stabilise.

“Stocks in London and the South of England have been recovering at slightly slower rates than other parts of the UK, so we have begun deploying military personnel to boost supply in these areas.

“More than half of those who have completed training to make fuel deliveries are being deployed to terminals serving London and the South-East of England, demonstrating that the sector is allocating drivers to areas most affected in this first phase from Monday.”

Speaking yesterday, PRA chairman Brian Madderson said the "crisis is virtually at an end" in Scotland, Wales, the north of England and Midlands.

He added: "The fuel is still not going to the pumps that need it most in London and the south east."

On Sunday morning up to 22% of filling stations in the UK's most populous region were dry and only 60% had both grades of fuel available.

The PRA said only six per cent of stations were dry in Scotland, the Midlands and northern England.

HeraldScotland:

Mr Madderson said the PRA, which represents nearly 5,500 of the UK's 8,000 filling stations, was "disappointed that no concerted action is being taken to address the supply problems" in the south.

Boris Johnson, attending the opening day of the Tory Party conference in Manchester on Sunday, expressed confidence the crisis was “abating” and said the military were being deployed as a “precaution”.

The Prime Minister however repeatedly refused to rule out shortages in the wider economy in the run up to Christmas.

As well as an estimated shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers, businesses from meat producers to retail, have warned of empty shelves if the shortages are not addressed.

Mr Johnson acknowledged the country was going through a “period of adjustment” following Brexit, which has cut off the supply of labour from the EU.

He insisted that he was not prepared to resolve the situation by pulling “the big lever marked uncontrolled immigration” to let in more foreign workers.

He said firms should ensure their employees were “decently paid” if they wanted to get more staff.