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PETROL PANIC: Unite rules out Easter fuel strike - but panic buying continues

Bournemouth Echo: A packed forecourt yesterday A packed forecourt yesterday

PANIC buying of petrol shows no signs of abating in Dorset, with drivers reporting queues of an hour already forming at some pumps and some closures as stations run out of fuel.

You can email your latest petrol experiences to stephen.bailey@bournemouthecho.co.uk

Unite this morning ruled out the possibility of any strikes before Easter. But experts warned panic buying itself could cause a shortage as deliveries struggle to keep up with demand.

Several petrol stations had put prices up by 2p a litre this morning as demand rose.

And in York, a woman transferring petrol to containers suffered 40 per cent burns when it ignited. Read more here: Woman burned while decanting petrol

There were no fuel signs at Somerford Shell in Barrack Road and cars were snaked around the Esso petrol stations at Castle Lane shortly after 6.30am this morning.

Esso at Tower Park was closed last night but reopened this morning - but is out of diesel and low on unleaded.

Police were called to the Shell garage on Waterloo Road near the Darby's Corner roundabout to ease congestion.

Tesco at Fleetsbridge was only letting drivers in using emergency workers with ID and is advising other drivers to visit Tesco at Tower Park.

Tesco in Castle Lane had reopened this morning but has run out of fuel already.

Asda in Canford Heath was closed by police at around noon for a tanker delivery. Drivers were reportedly queueing along Culliford Crescent for it to reopen.

The Esso garage in Ringwood Road is closed, with staff yesterday selling a week's worth of petrol in one day.

Texaco at St Paul's roundabout is open but queueing traffic is bringing the town at a standstill, with tailbacks onto the Wessex Way

Traffic chaos was also reported in Wimborne around the Total garage.

Tesco at Lilliput and Texaco Sandbanks are closed.

Also closed are: BP Garage at Spur End, Esso in Charminster, Texaco in Charminster, Esso on Holdenhurst Road, Texaco on Alma Road, Esso in Blandford, Esso garage on Holdenhurst Road, and Sainsbury's on Alder Road. Esso on Bath Road has diesel only.

Here's Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland on why there will be no strike action before Easter.

"We will not be calling Easter strike action as we focus on substantive talks through Acas. We do still retain the right to call strike action for after the Easter, should those talks break down.

"It should be stressed that what we are seeking is reasonable and no more than what is in place elsewhere in the industry.

"There have been minimum standards governing the offshore oil industry since 2000 covering health and safety, training, and terms and conditions.

"This is not a political dispute. It is an industrial dispute and the government's recent rhetoric will not help us achieve a negotiated settlement.

"They must set aside their political objectives and work with us, the employers, retailers and oil companies to achieve an outcome that is good for the industry and the country."

Read more about why drivers want to strike

Follow the latest with our #dorsetpetrol hashtag on Twitter.

You can send us pictures or video of what the forecourts are like where you are by texting them to 80360 - make sure you put BE in the body of the message.

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