SCORES of motorists queued outside petrol stations across the borough today, as drivers rushed to fill up their cars with fuel ahead of a possible strike.
The panic buying at the pumps comes amid fears of strike action from fuel tanker drivers that led the government to advise motorists to top up their vehicles even though a strike date has yet to be set.
UK sales of retail gasoline rose 81 per cent on Wednesday and diesel rose 43 per cent from the previous week as motorists stocked up in prepartion for strike action.
Tanker drivers working for five of the UK’s seven major fuel distribution firms voted Monday to strike over working conditions and health and safety practices, which led to fears of fuel shortages and higher fuel prices.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is urging people who are tempted to store petrol in case of potential shortages to make sure they take all the required safety precautions.
Group manager Phil Clark, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “While we would not recommend the storage of fuel by householders, if members of the public are going to store petrol, they need to make sure that the containers they are using are correctly designed and are fit for purpose. Certain plastics are unsuitable, as they will react with the petrol and could cause leaks.
“Furthermore, it should be labelled as flammable liquid, stored away from the house in either a shed or a garage, well away from people and anywhere it might be close to a naked flame, heat source or other source of ignition.”
NewsGuardianTV went along to some of the petrol stations in Whitley Bay to talk to motorists.