Panic at the pumps in the Cotswolds
PANICKED drivers have been swarming the remaining petrol stations in the Cotswolds that have not run out of fuel.
Queues at the Tesco filling station in Cirencester have been backed up to the McDonald's roundabout since a tanker delivery at around 5pm, with many drivers filling up jerry cans to stockpile on fuel.
The supermarket’s filling station ran out of both diesel and unleaded petrol earlier today because of the demand from drivers.
And it is a similar situation across the Cotswolds, with reports of filling stations near Cricklade, Fairford and Moreton-in-Marsh having to turn people away.
In Tetbury it was reported that police officers were directing the queuing traffic to help prevent any accidents.
The dash comes after government ministers told the nation to top up their fuel tanks in case of a tanker drivers’ strike.
“It’s a case of do as the others and don’t get caught out.”Anthea Saunders
This is despite the fact that a strike has not yet been announced and unions must give seven days notice before action can take place.
Unite's drivers, who deliver fuel to supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's along with Shell and Esso garages, have called for minimum standards for pay, hours, holiday and redundancy.
A tanker driver, who did not want to be named, said it would be unlikely that the Easter bank holiday weekend would now be affected because of the notice required.
But that has not stopped thousands of motorists from panic buying across the district.
Barber Tommy Hill, from Cirencester, had planned to fill up tomorrow but was worried garages might run dry before then.
“With everyone else panic buying like idiots, I thought I better come today instead. Everywhere else I’ve been to has run out. This is definitely because of the government being irresponsible.”
A concerned driver from Oaksey said he had no choice but to fill up two 5 litre jerry cans with diesel, in addition to his own tank. The cans were for his wife’s car, which ran dry before she could find a garage that still had fuel left.
“It’s a ridiculous situation,” he said, “I’m having to do this because otherwise my wife won’t be able to get to work in Abingdon tomorrow.”
Sisters Caroline and Anthea Saunders, from Cirencester, also joined the queue with so many others because they depend on fuel to keep their cleaning business going. They were not prepared to be left high and dry.
“We’re self employed - so no petrol, no work, no money,” Anthea said. “It’s a case of do as the others and don’t get caught out.”