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Panic buyers don't wait for strike as Cornwall fuel stations run dry

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: April 04, 2012

Drivers queue for fuel at Morrison's petrol station in Bodmin last week.

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FILLING stations across Cornwall ran dry as motorists panic-bought fuel before drivers had even set a strike date.

Last week's fuel frenzy was sparked after members of the Unite union voted to strike in a dispute over pay and health and safety issues, but they would have to give seven days' notice before walking out.

Around 90 per cent of the UK's filling stations could be affected if the 2,000 drivers decide to go ahead with their threat.

And the situation across Cornwall's filling stations was similar to the rest of the country.

Cornish Guardian sports editor Kevin Marriott, who lives in Liskeard, popped into the Shell filling station at Trerulefoot at 10.30pm and found six pumps out of petrol due to a "chaotic" day of sales.

Liskeard's Addington Service Station on Callington Road saw long queues of people desperate to fill up.

There were also queues at filling stations across Bodmin including at Morrisons on Priory Road. The supermarket had sold out of fuel by Friday morning, but fresh supplies came in and a normal service was able to resume.

At the petrol station at Morrisons' supermarket in Newquay and Asda in St Austell there was a similar story.

Gary Batten, forecourt manager at Shell on the A39, Westhill, Wadebridge, said although they had not run out the filling station had been "exceptionally busy".

On Thursday the Texaco petrol station in Southbourne Road, St Austell, put up a sign to tell motorists they had run dry.

By Monday Barry Common, who works at the filling station, said they were again close to running out of both diesel and petrol but were expecting a delivery during Tuesday.

He said people were filling up with £35, £40 and even £95 of fuel instead of the usual £20.

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