PETROL stations in Berwickshire and north Northumberland are getting busier, but although one garage in Duns ran out of unleaded petrol overnight there is no shortage of fuel or any indication of panic buying yet. Some garages in other parts of the UK have run dry after the government advised motorists to keep tanks topped up ahead of a possible fuel drivers’ strike.
Aitchison’s Garage in Duns ran out of unleaded last night, but has since had a new delivery. Other local garages are reporting longer queues than usual. Retailers insist usual deliveries of fuel will ensure supplies were replenished at garages that are running short.
Posting on Facebook, Barbara Henderson said: “There were more queues than usual at Asda in Berwick on Thursday evening, but it was very short wait and no panicking. I did see one selfish woman loading up a plastic container. This sort of attitude is what’s going to cause problems.”
Kenneth McKenzie, forecourt assistant at the Shell Garage on North Road in Berwick, said: “It has definitely been busier for the past couple of days, so it must be in people’s heads. We have had queues on and off. But it has not quite gone crazy yet. We have another tanker coming tonight, so our supplies are fine for now.”
The manager of McColls at Eyemouth says things are pretty much status quo there. Although fuel purchases are slightly up, he said none of his customers were really talking about a potential crisis and people were “remaining calm.”
Trade has been slightly busier at Duns Service Station, but there has not been any significant queues as a result of panic buying, as there has been in other parts of the Borders such as Jedburgh and Galashiels. There were reports of a diesel shortage in Jedburgh yesterday, while Asda in Galashiels ran out of petrol.
At AJK Thompson in Seahouses, fuel sales started picking up on Wednesday night and the trend continued yesterday, but there were no tailbacks at the pumps.
About 90 per cent of forecourts in the UK are supplied by 2,000 tanker drivers in the Unite union, which is threatening a strike over their working conditions and pay.