Transport secretary Grant Shapps says there would be no fuel queues if motorists filled up as normal as he accused a haulage group of triggering the "manufactured situation".
Shapps insisted there was "plenty of fuel" and urged the public to be "sensible" as some retailers were forced to shut their pumps and ration sales in the face of long lines at petrol stations for a third day.
The supply crisis has been caused by a shortage of fuel tanker drivers.
The cabinet minister's comments came as the government announced a temporary visa scheme that will allow 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers to be brought in from abroad on three-month contracts to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys in the run up to Christmas and tackle fuel delivery problems.
However, business leaders have already warned the package of measures "will not be enough".
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