Petrol pump chaos dried out Belper

Many garages ran out of fuel
Many garages ran out of fuel

PETROL stations in the Belper area were sucked dry by panicked motorists last week as threats of a tanker drivers’ strike loomed.

The News spoke to attendants on Friday - before the strike was averted - who described scenes of panic-buying not seen since the lorry drivers and farmers’s protests in 2000.

Pat Williams, at the Riverside Service Station on Derby Road, said: “It’s been chaos the last three or four days - I have never seen it so busy. I think David Cameron’s comments are disgusting. At the moment we have got fuel and we are hoping they will come today to refill. We are in the queue.”

Myuran Mahadevan, at the Lion Garage on Bridge Street, said: “It’s been really mad. We are dry now because we were extremely busy yesterday. We are expecting a delivery on Friday but we don’t know when it will arrive.”

Julie Falat, at Quadamill Petrol Ltd in Lower Kilburn, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been absolutely manic! Even when we had the last strike I never saw anything like this! They have been queueing up the road. We have neigbours complaining because they can’t get into their own homes.”

The Unite union, which represents 2,062 tanker drivers, is in dispute with seven fuel companies over safety standards and working terms and conditions.

A strike over the Easter bank holiday has been ruled out.