Queues at petrol stations over tanker drivers' strike threat (updated)
Motorists have been queueing at petrol stations today after fuel tanker drivers threatened to strike in a row over terms and conditions and safety standards.
Workers in five of seven companies involved in the row have voted in favour of action, but a strike has yet to be announced.
Petrol sales have shot up by 81 per cent and diesel by 43 per cent, according to the Petrol Retailers Association, leaving some garages low on stocks.
Hull-based Sewell Retail said this afternoon its Cottingham garage had run out of fuel and its Willerby site, where a tanker was expected this evening, was out of diesel. But it had good stocks at many of its other sites around the county.
Save upto £900 on Britannia Range Cookers at Hanson ElectricalView details
Call into our store on Willerby Road, Hull to view the fantastic range
Terms: This offer applies to ex display cookers only and is subject to availability
Contact: 01482 423080
Valid until: Saturday, June 08 2013
The conciliation service Acas, which has been in contact with the Unite union and the contractors involved in the dispute, said talks would not be held before Monday.
An Acas spokesman said: "We are in the process of receiving more detailed briefings from the parties on the various issues underpinning the dispute.
"This will enable us to determine more clearly the form substantive talks should take to provide the best opportunity for a negotiated settlement.
"We should conclude that process by Monday and would then hope substantive discussions would follow shortly afterwards."
Unite has not set any strike dates and has been stressing its willingness to negotiate. It will have to give seven days' notice of any walkouts and will have to make an announcement by tomorrow if it wants to hit the start of the Easter holidays.
Users of the Mail's Facebook page have been discussing the proposed strike.
Queues were described at supermarket garages including Hall Road Tesco and Holderness Road Morrisons, both in Hull.
Matt Duffill posted: "It's not like its the end of the world. Drivers should not start panic buying, it will only make things worse."
Kazzy Coyle wrote: "I have started walking where I can - you don't realise how much you rely on your car ... good luck to the strikers fighting for what they believe in."
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is strongly urging people not to store petrol because of the risks.
Spokesman Pete Baron said: "Public safety is our main concern and the storing of petrol can be extremely dangerous. I would ask residents not to store fuel at all. However, I accept that some people will, so would ask that anyone considering this to stick to the following guidelines."
* Never store petrol in a domestic environment.
* Petrol must be stored in a building that is completely separate to a living place.
* Petrol must be stored in an approved plastic or metal container - the type you would typically buy from filling stations
* A maximum 30 litres can be stored in two 10 litre metal containers and two five-litre plastic containers
Never over-fill containers beyond the capacity marked on the container
* Containers should be marked 'petroleum spirit' and 'highly flammable'
* Petrol is a dangerous substance that can dramatically increase the risk of fire. Humberside Fire and Rescue Service recommends that members of the public keep any storage to a minimum.
Meanwhile, the AA has calculated panic buying across the country will bring in £32m in extra fuel excise duty.
AA president Edmund King said: “There is no fuel tanker strike and therefore if drivers followed normal fuel-buying patterns there would be no fuel shortage whatsoever.”