Panic at the pumps over tanker driver strike threat

The Shell garage at Upton after supplies ran out

The Shell garage at Upton after supplies ran out

First published in News

WIRRAL motorists have started “panic-buying” fuel amid fears of tanker drivers taking strike action.

Perol stations across the borough are experiencing high volumes of custom and long queues are forming as drivers fill their tanks.

The Shell garage on Borough Road in Birkenhead reports it has now run out of pertol and diesel and does not know when the tanks will be refilled.

And a spokesman at the Shell garage on New Chester Road said supplies would not last the day.

The threat of a walk-out over terms and conditions and safety standards has edged a step closer after union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

Around 2,000 members of Unite at seven companies were balloted for the first national campaign of action for over a decade, with those at five firms backing strikes.

The union said strikes were supported by an average of 69% in the five firms, which deliver fuel to Shell and Esso garages as well as supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's.

The Government said it had "robust resilience and contingency plans" to deal with a strike and had already started to put these in place to minimise any disruption to the public.

Unite pulled back from naming strike dates, raising the prospect of talks in the next few days to try to resolve the dispute and avert industrial action.

The union will have to give seven days' notice of walkouts and has not ruled out the prospect of action over the Easter weekend, the first major holiday getaway of the year.

Unite drivers supply fuel to 90% of the UK's forecourts and the union said a strike could close thousands of petrol stations.

Diana Holland, Unite's assistant general secretary, said: "These votes send a clear message throughout the industry and should prompt all the major companies to get around the table to establish minimum standards."

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: "The Unite ballot result is disappointing. The Government is strongly of the view that strike action is wrong and unnecessary. The union should be getting round the negotiating table, not planning to disrupt the lives of millions of people across Britain."

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Comments (26)

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1:39pm Tue 27 Mar 12

ArdalMcFardle says...

Silly people, there's nothing set in stone yet. Nice to see the spirit of the blitz is alive and well
Silly people, there's nothing set in stone yet. Nice to see the spirit of the blitz is alive and well ArdalMcFardle
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Tue 27 Mar 12

celox says...

'Unite has to give 7 days notice of walkouts':

Absolutely no need to panick buy!
'Unite has to give 7 days notice of walkouts': Absolutely no need to panick buy! celox
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Tue 27 Mar 12

red devil says...

Its going to rain sometime this year. That should cause a panic buy of umbrellas now!!
Its going to rain sometime this year. That should cause a panic buy of umbrellas now!! red devil
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Tue 27 Mar 12

ConcernedRatePayer says...

This is exactly the same sort of mentality displayed with people panic buying at the Supermarkets on the run up to Christmas - total Muppetry !!!!
This is exactly the same sort of mentality displayed with people panic buying at the Supermarkets on the run up to Christmas - total Muppetry !!!! ConcernedRatePayer
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Tue 27 Mar 12

daryl21963 says...

perhaps the drivers can stay out for a few weeks force the goverment to reduce the price of fuel
perhaps the drivers can stay out for a few weeks force the goverment to reduce the price of fuel daryl21963
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Tue 27 Mar 12

spamfiend says...

By following this course of action, the only winners are the fuel suppliers because people buy more than they will ever need and therefore they make more £££££.

This is turn causes silly people who are needlessly filling their tanks up meaning the likes of us who would only buy our usual amount have to either suffer by queuing for a ridiculous amount of time or don't bother.
Thankfully I am annual leave from Saturday for 11 days and seeing as though the kids are on half term, won't bother with the car as we have days out planned by using the train.
To those planning to fill up unnecessarily, have a heart and only use what you would do normally and give everyone a fair shout!!!
By following this course of action, the only winners are the fuel suppliers because people buy more than they will ever need and therefore they make more £££££. This is turn causes silly people who are needlessly filling their tanks up meaning the likes of us who would only buy our usual amount have to either suffer by queuing for a ridiculous amount of time or don't bother. Thankfully I am annual leave from Saturday for 11 days and seeing as though the kids are on half term, won't bother with the car as we have days out planned by using the train. To those planning to fill up unnecessarily, have a heart and only use what you would do normally and give everyone a fair shout!!! spamfiend
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Tue 27 Mar 12

dazza25 says...

The Unite union has not given a date yet but it is widely expected to be during the Easter weekend beginning on Good Friday, April 6.

That was taken from the express.co.uk
The Unite union has not given a date yet but it is widely expected to be during the Easter weekend beginning on Good Friday, April 6. That was taken from the express.co.uk dazza25
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Mr Bollo says...

yep, well done morons... bah bah bah
yep, well done morons... bah bah bah Mr Bollo
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Tue 27 Mar 12

nikki hannah says...

are these people stupid? were did all this panic start? i had heard it was predicted for easter and this confirmed it these people who panic bought will only have 2re-fill again b4 the strike calm down you fools
are these people stupid? were did all this panic start? i had heard it was predicted for easter and this confirmed it these people who panic bought will only have 2re-fill again b4 the strike calm down you fools nikki hannah
  • Score: 0

10:02pm Tue 27 Mar 12

carra23 says...

I went past 3 petrol stations on my way home and there were queues at each one of them, causing chaos and traffic jams out of the petrol forecourt and onto the main roads. Absolutely stupid people.

As for your comment Spamfiend - how can anyone buy more than they will ever use? As far as I know, you can't fill your petrol tank with more than it will hold and you can't run a car (especially with the prices today) on one tank of petrol for life!!!!!

I've got 3/4 of a tank which I am hoping will last longer than the strike will, otherwise I will have a VERY long journey to work :(
I went past 3 petrol stations on my way home and there were queues at each one of them, causing chaos and traffic jams out of the petrol forecourt and onto the main roads. Absolutely stupid people. As for your comment Spamfiend - how can anyone buy more than they will ever use? As far as I know, you can't fill your petrol tank with more than it will hold and you can't run a car (especially with the prices today) on one tank of petrol for life!!!!! I've got 3/4 of a tank which I am hoping will last longer than the strike will, otherwise I will have a VERY long journey to work :( carra23
  • Score: 0

7:51am Wed 28 Mar 12

spamfiend says...

carra23 wrote:
I went past 3 petrol stations on my way home and there were queues at each one of them, causing chaos and traffic jams out of the petrol forecourt and onto the main roads. Absolutely stupid people.

As for your comment Spamfiend - how can anyone buy more than they will ever use? As far as I know, you can't fill your petrol tank with more than it will hold and you can't run a car (especially with the prices today) on one tank of petrol for life!!!!!

I've got 3/4 of a tank which I am hoping will last longer than the strike will, otherwise I will have a VERY long journey to work :(
Sorry, words didn't express what I meant. What I meant was if you use £20 a week, why where people putting £50 - £60 in. They where putting in far more than they would use in a normal period.
[quote][p][bold]carra23[/bold] wrote: I went past 3 petrol stations on my way home and there were queues at each one of them, causing chaos and traffic jams out of the petrol forecourt and onto the main roads. Absolutely stupid people. As for your comment Spamfiend - how can anyone buy more than they will ever use? As far as I know, you can't fill your petrol tank with more than it will hold and you can't run a car (especially with the prices today) on one tank of petrol for life!!!!! I've got 3/4 of a tank which I am hoping will last longer than the strike will, otherwise I will have a VERY long journey to work :([/p][/quote]Sorry, words didn't express what I meant. What I meant was if you use £20 a week, why where people putting £50 - £60 in. They where putting in far more than they would use in a normal period. spamfiend
  • Score: 0

9:26am Wed 28 Mar 12

bickyboy says...

Nothing surprising about this. The human race, like all species is genetically programmed to be selfish in order to survive. Combine that with a propensity for panicking at the least sign of a break in the normal routine of life and queues at the petrol pumps were an absolute certainty.

Just glad I managed to get my tank filled over the weekend before all the other selfish barstewards got there. Phew.

I wonder when the garages will start to sneak prices up to take advantage of the extra demand?
Nothing surprising about this. The human race, like all species is genetically programmed to be selfish in order to survive. Combine that with a propensity for panicking at the least sign of a break in the normal routine of life and queues at the petrol pumps were an absolute certainty. Just glad I managed to get my tank filled over the weekend before all the other selfish barstewards got there. Phew. I wonder when the garages will start to sneak prices up to take advantage of the extra demand? bickyboy
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Wed 28 Mar 12

OptimisticThoughts says...

When driving to and from work i can use a tank of fuel every 2 days in my subaru, this is outrageous all the muppets who dont work in their motability cars taking all the petrol with their allowances, greedy or what!
When driving to and from work i can use a tank of fuel every 2 days in my subaru, this is outrageous all the muppets who dont work in their motability cars taking all the petrol with their allowances, greedy or what! OptimisticThoughts
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Wed 28 Mar 12

djrimmer says...

These bufoons are now causing us problems getting hundreds the elderly, disabled and children to their day care facilities. Shame on the idiots causing this unnecessary problem.
These bufoons are now causing us problems getting hundreds the elderly, disabled and children to their day care facilities. Shame on the idiots causing this unnecessary problem. djrimmer
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Kmcallister says...

Those people who panic buy are probably the same people who clear the supermarket shelves at Christmas time for the WHOLE two days that the supermarkets are closed.
Those people who panic buy are probably the same people who clear the supermarket shelves at Christmas time for the WHOLE two days that the supermarkets are closed. Kmcallister
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Wed 28 Mar 12

hugo2008 says...

Keep on panic buying, stock up on all those no essentials you do not really need.
Don't forget Candles, Batteries, Blankets, Dried Food Stuffs, and Soups, Beans and Dried Milk.
All this extra spending will soon sort out the economy, flush out the spare cash we all have stashed away, plus bring forward the real crash sooner rather than later.
Roll on the revolution.
Keep on panic buying, stock up on all those no essentials you do not really need. Don't forget Candles, Batteries, Blankets, Dried Food Stuffs, and Soups, Beans and Dried Milk. All this extra spending will soon sort out the economy, flush out the spare cash we all have stashed away, plus bring forward the real crash sooner rather than later. Roll on the revolution. hugo2008
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Wed 28 Mar 12

steady cyclist says...

Perhaps now would be a good time to get a bike and ride instead or driving.

A41 5 garages all shut today, Borough road shut.
Perhaps now would be a good time to get a bike and ride instead or driving. A41 5 garages all shut today, Borough road shut. steady cyclist
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Wed 28 Mar 12

spamfiend says...

Just driven down A41 by Cammell Lairds and the 2 garages are both rammed with cars queuing on the carriageway so be careful as it is causing quite a hazard especially since you have to pull out to get round them especially by the BP garage on the roundabout because the cars are jutting out into the road.
Just driven down A41 by Cammell Lairds and the 2 garages are both rammed with cars queuing on the carriageway so be careful as it is causing quite a hazard especially since you have to pull out to get round them especially by the BP garage on the roundabout because the cars are jutting out into the road. spamfiend
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Wed 28 Mar 12

council officer says...

Nuts! went to Cheshire oaks today and whilst there went to the Sainsburys garage. Not a queue in sight. Why is everyone in Wirral panicking?
Nuts! went to Cheshire oaks today and whilst there went to the Sainsburys garage. Not a queue in sight. Why is everyone in Wirral panicking? council officer
  • Score: 0

9:14am Thu 29 Mar 12

bickyboy says...

Some junior government minister was on Radio 4 this morning, clearly having been wheeled out to save Francis Maude's face in the aftermath of his stupid comment about stockpiling petrol in your garage. His excuse was that Mr Maude didnt know that a "jerry can" holds 20 litres, while the legal limit for storage of petrol on domestic premises is 2x 2 litre cans. So not only does a senior government minister have no idea how much petrol a jerry can holds, but he thinks its appropriate to keep what amounts to a bomb in our houses.

As for panic, theyve been at it here in Wallasey for the last three or four days, stocking up like theres a nuke on the way and only a long drive to safety can save them from annihilation. The government must have known this would happen, so why didnt they stop and think before advising us all to change our habits and stop driving on empty?
Some junior government minister was on Radio 4 this morning, clearly having been wheeled out to save Francis Maude's face in the aftermath of his stupid comment about stockpiling petrol in your garage. His excuse was that Mr Maude didnt know that a "jerry can" holds 20 litres, while the legal limit for storage of petrol on domestic premises is 2x 2 litre cans. So not only does a senior government minister have no idea how much petrol a jerry can holds, but he thinks its appropriate to keep what amounts to a bomb in our houses. As for panic, theyve been at it here in Wallasey for the last three or four days, stocking up like theres a nuke on the way and only a long drive to safety can save them from annihilation. The government must have known this would happen, so why didnt they stop and think before advising us all to change our habits and stop driving on empty? bickyboy
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Thu 29 Mar 12

red devil says...

Legal limit is 10 litres according to the news, but my sister went to Asda to fuel up and was told, 'I dont know why they are panicking, we will have an uninterrupted regular supply, the strike if at all, will not affect us'
Legal limit is 10 litres according to the news, but my sister went to Asda to fuel up and was told, 'I dont know why they are panicking, we will have an uninterrupted regular supply, the strike if at all, will not affect us' red devil
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Thu 29 Mar 12

David says...

red devil wrote:
Legal limit is 10 litres according to the news, but my sister went to Asda to fuel up and was told, 'I dont know why they are panicking, we will have an uninterrupted regular supply, the strike if at all, will not affect us'
Quite right, most of the supermarket chains will be unaffected but try telling that to the muppets with half a brain cell between them who are causing chaos by panic-buying.
[quote][p][bold]red devil[/bold] wrote: Legal limit is 10 litres according to the news, but my sister went to Asda to fuel up and was told, 'I dont know why they are panicking, we will have an uninterrupted regular supply, the strike if at all, will not affect us'[/p][/quote]Quite right, most of the supermarket chains will be unaffected but try telling that to the muppets with half a brain cell between them who are causing chaos by panic-buying. David
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Jayo says...

You selfish idiots have given the Coalition 32m in tax. (Well done) And it would not surprise one bit if that was the intention all along.
Talks will be held on Monday so that gives us at least ELEVEN days before any strike by then all the panic petrol will have been used and guess what ? The government will be quids in again when you need to buy more for any REAL strike.
You selfish idiots have given the Coalition 32m in tax. (Well done) And it would not surprise one bit if that was the intention all along. Talks will be held on Monday so that gives us at least ELEVEN days before any strike by then all the panic petrol will have been used and guess what ? The government will be quids in again when you need to buy more for any REAL strike. Jayo
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Fri 30 Mar 12

steady cyclist says...

Garage in West Kirby has plenty of fuel, as does the one in Moreton.
Garage in West Kirby has plenty of fuel, as does the one in Moreton. steady cyclist
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Fri 30 Mar 12

red devil says...

Mention the word strike and people go to pieces. People are so fickle. Look at the panic buying in supermarkets when a public holiday looms! Sorry, did I say fickle? Rank stupidity is better. Saw a great pic online a man with a poster saying Panic! Stop here for a slap on the head!!
Mention the word strike and people go to pieces. People are so fickle. Look at the panic buying in supermarkets when a public holiday looms! Sorry, did I say fickle? Rank stupidity is better. Saw a great pic online a man with a poster saying Panic! Stop here for a slap on the head!! red devil
  • Score: 0

9:59am Sun 1 Apr 12

uncatom says...

The whole point of the exercise was to discredit the trade unions,the tories know full well that any strike that affects the public will win sympathy for any action they take we all know that the tories are anti union remember the disgraceful remark made by thatcher "the enemy within" instead of gearing up to strike break why dont they concentrate on trying to resolve the dispute along with ACAS jaw jaw instead of war war, it would suit this government to have a strike to distract from all the negative headlines recently and of course to have a have a whipping boy handy,they like that kind of thing.
The whole point of the exercise was to discredit the trade unions,the tories know full well that any strike that affects the public will win sympathy for any action they take we all know that the tories are anti union remember the disgraceful remark made by thatcher "the enemy within" instead of gearing up to strike break why dont they concentrate on trying to resolve the dispute along with ACAS jaw jaw instead of war war, it would suit this government to have a strike to distract from all the negative headlines recently and of course to have a have a whipping boy handy,they like that kind of thing. uncatom
  • Score: 0

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