The threat of a tanker driver strike is again causing chaos at Britain’s forecourts today as motorists are still following confusing advice issued by government ministers to keep their tanks topped up. This has left Fleet Fuel companies and HGV drivers feeling the strain especially as bigger volumes of fuel are needed to keep these companies on the move.
Queues got so bad in some areas causing problems on the main roads, that forecourts were temporarily closed by police.
Mark Wilson, operations manager at Oxfordshire-based Fraser Retail, compared the situation to the last major fuel crisis more than a decade ago.
“This is as bad as 2000 and we’ve not even had a strike yet,” he said. “It’s manic but we’ve been well supported by BP. We’re ordering lots more – we’re taking double the number of tankers than usual. BP has been able to fulfill our orders to make sure we don’t run dry, so we haven’t had to ration fuel. We’re not fully stocked because we’re selling fuel as quickly as we get it. Dorset police confirmed that five garages were asked to close for a period, because lines of cars were causing congestion in Bournemouth and Weymouth, and there were reports of forecourt closures and petrol shortages across the UK.
John Mason, managing director at Peregrine Retail, said: “We’re doing very well and not running out of fuel. Everyone else around Ringwood ran out it became much busier for us. Normally we do about 15-16,000 litres a day, but sold 40,000 litres yesterday. We’re already over that today, and we’ve not even hit our busy time. We’ve been helped by others running out.
“We’re ordering a full load a day. We’ll try to stay as fully stocked as we can be if ultimately the drivers go to strike. BP has their own delivery drivers but they won’t cross the picket line, so we’ll have to wait and see. A lot of the commotion is just motorists panicking. They could be a strike in the next 28 days, and the union has to give seven days’ notice, so it’s all a bit daft.
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