Garage out of fuel as run on petrol and diesel continues across county (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Garage out of fuel as run on petrol and diesel continues across county
3:19pm Friday 30th March 2012 in News
AT least one garage in north Wiltshire ran out of fuel today as motorists continued to top up their tanks over fears that tanker drivers would strike.
The Esso service station in Hungerdown Lane, Chippenham, ran out of fuel but was expecting a delivery tomorrow.
Sainsbury’s said its forecourt in Bath Road, Chippenham, was running low but a tanker was expected at 5pm today.
Motorists were said to be queuing for up to 20 minutes at the BP filling station on Rowden Hill, Chippenham, and at Morrisons in Cepen Park North, Chippenham.
Murco Petroleum Ltd in Lower Stanton St Quintin reported queues of at least four cars for each pump and feared increased delays for drivers this afternoon.
While petrol marshals were said to out on the forecourts of Salisbury the situation appeared to have eased in Devizes.
Nick Hale, owner of Curry’s Motors in Bath Road, Devizes, said: “Yesterday was manic with queues down the street but today is a lot quieter, still busy but not so crazy.
“We had a tanker delivery yesterday so we are all right for supplies.”
At Roundway Service Station in London Road it was a similar story. A spokesman said: “We’re always busy on a Friday so we are just slightly busier than usual. There is panic buying everywhere but we are coping well.”
At Northgate Street filling station in Devizes queues were said to be normal for a Friday afternoon with supplies holding up well.
Cars and vans queuing for fuel at the Fyfield Filling Station on the Bath Road west of Marlborough stretched back almost 100 yards at one stage and one local resident called the Gazette to say: “There are at least 20 cars queuing on the road as well as those on the forecourt although the garage has put its prices up to over £1.50 a litre.”
The queue did not cause traffic delays because the road is very wide at this point and vehicles were able to get past the line of waiting vehicles.
There was increased activity at Dean’s Garage in Marlborough, which has been notorious for having some of the most expensive fuel prices in the UK but queues were said to have barely reached the road outside.
The Texaco garage, in Pickwick Road, Corsham, reported longer queues than normal this morning. At 9am there was a delivery of fuel which should prevent tanks at the station from running out during the day.
Meanwhile an Easter strike by fuel tanker drivers was ruled out by the Unite union today.
About 90 per cent of UK forecourts are supplied by the Unite union's 2,000 or so members, including Shell and Esso garages and supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's.
Unite’s members have called for minimum working conditions covering pay, hours, holiday and redundancy.
Union officials have agreed to meet conciliation service Acas, which said it would be meeting the employers involved in the dispute on Monday and that it hoped formal talks also involving the union could start as soon as possible after that.
In a statement, Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: "We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks break down."
A Downing Street spokesman said: "It’s obviously good news that people are not going to have their bank holiday ruined but it's time Unite withdraw their totally unacceptable strike threat."
Prime Minister David Cameron has been chairing a meeting of Cobra, the government's civil contingencies committee.