Panic buyers cause gridlock at Ely petrol station

A PETROL station in Ely was almost drained dry by panic buyers on Thursday.

Half of the pumps at the Tesco petrol station on Angel Drove had sold out of diesel by 3pm, with security staff forced to manage hefty queues.

The rush to the pumps was prompted by advice from the Government on Wednesday, recommending that motorists “top-up” their tanks ahead of a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers.

Despite the fact that no action had been agreed by members of the Unite union on Thursday, motorists turned out at the station in their hundreds.

The situation at petrol stations at Witcham Toll, Littleport and Soham remained normal.

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.

“We now have self-inflicted shortages due to poor advice about topping up the tank and hoarding in jerry cans. This in turn has led to localised shortages, queues and some profiteering at the pumps.”

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Mr King continued: “Even if we do have a strike which is unlikely, there will be seven days’ notice of strike action, and therefore time for drivers to fill up. The AA has advised all along that drivers should follow their normal fuel buying patterns.”