'Goodness still exists': Good Samaritan helps guide traffic at petrol station for five hours

Gavin James

Gavin James helped guide traffic at a Collier Row petrol station as anxious drivers tried to fill up their cars - Credit: Gavin James

A Chadwell Heath care worker has been hailed a "community hero" after voluntarily spending five hours guiding traffic at a chaotic petrol station.

Gavin James was at Collier Row's Esso petrol station on September 28 filling up his car when he decided to get out and help other drivers to safely enter the forecourt.

The 26-year-old ended up helping with the traffic flow for five hours, guiding cars from the two entrances into available bays.

He told the Recorder: "It was a disaster when I arrived, people were arguing and it seemed like chaos.

"I didn't go with the intention of helping out, it just seemed like an opportunity to step up and I took it."

He said people were grateful for his help, and someone even brought him a box of donuts to say thank you.

"Everyone's really anxious at the moment, so having a face and person to talk to is really helpful," he said.

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Darrel Lee, from Romford, had been queuing at the petrol station when he noticed Gavin guiding traffic.

"I honestly just assumed he worked there," he said.

"It was only when I got out that I realised he was just another driver."

Darrel said the traffic was "bad as it was", and he could not imagine how much worse it would be without the volunteer's help.

"I was surprised to see someone from the local area just helping out," he said.

"He's a community hero. It's amazing to see, and shows that goodness still exists."

This comes as fear over petrol shortages has seen a flood of drivers heading to petrol stations around the country, with some sites forced to close.

Nationally, some petrol brands are seeing up to 90 per cent of their sites running dry, according to the Petrol Retailers Association.

Executive director Gordon Balmer told LBC: “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.”

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