Drivers reassured over fuel stocks

AT LEAST one Ipswich filling station was today without fuel after panic-buying motorists used up all its supplies.The Shell Heath Road garage ran dry after queues yesterday afternoon, but other garages were still reporting they had plenty of fuel in stock.

Richard Cornwell

AT LEAST one Ipswich filling station was today without fuel after panic-buying motorists used up all its supplies.

The Shell Heath Road garage ran dry after queues yesterday afternoon, but other garages were still reporting they had plenty of fuel in stock.

The message from them was: don't panic and supplies will not run out.


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A spokesman for Shell Heath said yesterday: “We have no diesel or unleaded at the moment but we are expecting a delivery on Saturday.”

Earlier there was a report Sainsbury's at Warren Heath had run out of unleaded - but it turned out to be motorists misreading the sign outside.

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A spokeswoman said the sign said the garage had run out of super unleaded.

“We could see people slowing down, looking at the sign and driving off - I think they were seeing the word unleaded and not noticing the word super,” she said.

She added that the station had “plenty of unleaded” as of last night and staff were expecting a further delivery.

“So unless there is a sudden huge rush we will not run out,” she said.

The East of England Co-op Esso garage in Nacton Road had to close its pumps twice yesterday for a short while because of a computer problem, but it has not run out of petrol or diesel.

Communications and community manager Miriam Harrup said: “All our filling stations have plenty of all types of fuel and we have absolutely no problems and people should not be concerned about supplies.”

Ipswich motorist Lesley Andrews, of Felixstowe Road, said: “I need my car and I cannot afford to fill it right up. We have been doing what the government says and not panic buying and I am worried that if the garages close will not have enough petrol to get to those further away and be left high and dry.”

A four-day strike by 500 tanker drivers was expected to affect one in ten of Britain's 9,500 filling stations.

The walk-out is over a long-running row over pay and the drivers are picketing Shell oil terminal sites across the UK.

Unite joint leader Tony Woodley said: “Shell outsourced my members' jobs years ago to cut costs and have been very successful at the workers' expense.

“Despite what management is saying, our members are on a basic wage of £31,800 and if they had remained working for Shell that would now be £46,000. What we are asking for is a basic wage of £36,000.”

Do you support the tanker drivers? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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