Shropshire Star

Telford petrol pumps closed in queue chaos

Two major?petrol stations in Telford closed this afternoon amid chaotic scenes after panic-buying gripped motorists.


Two major?petrol stations in Telford closed this afternoon amid chaotic scenes after panic-buying gripped motorists.

The Esso garage in Trench Lock and Asda forecourts in Donnington Wood were both closed, despite still having fuel.

Drivers ignored pleas not to panic as David Cameron was accused of creating a nationwide crisis.

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Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Prime Minister was 'presiding over a shambles' as officials from the AA and the Petrol Retailers Association lined up to point the finger at Government ministers for causing panic-buying.

The Government caused further confusion today when energy secretary Ed Davey first advised people to half-fill their tanks – before then telling them to make sure they were two-thirds full.

A spokeswoman for the Donnington Wood Asda store said: "We had to shut off the station today, mainly due to traffic chaos being caused on the roads around the store."

She said they closed the forecourt after discussions with police.

A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said officers went to the store after traffic problems were reported. She said: "Several options were discussed, and one option was closing the forecourt, but obviously it was their decision."

She added West Mercia Police has detailed contingency plans to keep officers on the streets if there is a shortage.

In Newport, one garage was forced to impose rationing as the crisis hit forecourts across Shropshire, with some running out of fuel altogether.

The Nix Service Station, on Forton Road, was restricting sales to £30 per customer. Owner David Smith said four days' worth of fuel had been sold yesterday, causing long queues. He said: "We're rationing customers to £30. But at this rate we'll run out before too long anyway. We are not having a delivery until Monday."

The Shell garage on Lower Bar in the town had 38,000 litres of petrol delivered on Tuesday and 23,000 litres yesterday.

Forecourt attendant Mohammad Faheern said: "I've never seen anything like it. People are panicking.

"People are filling up. They are then coming back later with a second car to fill that up as well."

The Shell Red Lion Service Station on Holyhead Road, Oakengates, ran out of fuel today and was waiting to discover whether it would get a delivery tonight.

AA president Edmund King said panic-buying had been caused by 'poor advice and rumours'. Petrol sales shot up 81 per cent yesterday, with diesel sales up 43 per cent, over fears of a strike by tanker drivers over their terms and conditions.

Acas was trying to arrange a meeting between the Unite union and seven companies involved in the dispute.

Unite must give seven days' notice of industrial action, so strikes at Easter were looking increasingly unlikely.

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