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By PatHill | Thursday, March 29, 2012, 16:56

Panic buying by motorists in the Godalming area has already begun leading to service stations running out of petrol!

As queues formed at petrol stations around the town today, the busy Esso station at Milford ran dry of deisel and unleaded supplies, after being inundated by anxious motorists who have been stocking up since yesterday, following growing fears about a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers.

Yet some local angry motorists today hit out at those who had been stampeded into filling up their car tanks, and creating a problem - and soaring petrol prices- in the area.

"It's totally mental!!! By the time the strike happens, people will need to refuel again. So what's the point in panic buying?" said motorist Dawn Hart.

Meanwhile Victoria Irlam added:"It's crazy as the strike hasn't even been confirmed. So no point buying yet. " That is outrageous! There have been huge queues all morning at the Esso garage in Milford."

Another added: "Shame on Esso in Godalming for putting up prices by 4p overnight and not displaying it on roadside board!"

Sales of petrol and diesel have increased dramatically as motorists flocked to garages to fill up following controversial advice from the Government ahead of a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers.

As motorists queued to fill up at Sainsbury's in Godalming, extra staff were drafted in to help ease the congestion.

Elsewhere, the BP station at Eashing near Godalming was limiting sales to 20 GBP per person to maintain stocks.

Meanwhile, in some areas of the country petrol sales shot up by 81% and diesel by 43%, according to the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents around 5,500 garages across the UK.

A spokesman blamed advice from the Government on keeping tanks topped up, including the much-criticised call by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to fill up jerry cans. "This is exactly what we didn't want - people panic buying. Deliveries are still being made to garages and we are advising people to continue with their normal buying habits."

But a worker at the Esso garage in Milford explained:" It has been crazy here. And we don't know when we will be able to get fresh supplies!"

The proposed strike is about pensions plus health and safety issues including tight deadlines that could lead to drivers rushing on the road. The Unite union wants minimum standards for tanker drivers, covering pay, hours, redundancy and holiday entitlement.

No date has yet been set for any strike action. Seven days' notice has to be given before any strike can occur. The strike can start from 3 April but many expect it to occur over the Easter holiday.

The AA said current fuel shortages were the result of poor advice and rumours leading to panic buying. 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."

Now have your say on what you think about the so caled panic buying or the way the situation has been well as the sudden rise in prices.








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