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Army drivers on standby as UK motorists face fuel shortages

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A possible strike by tanker drivers which delivers fuel could lead to a potential shortage for UK motorists.

The Unite Union are taking industrial action after ‘unrelenting attacks’ on driver’s terms and conditions. If 2,000 drivers were to strike it would account for 90% of those supplying petrol to around 7,900 UK forecourts. Petrol suppliers for supermarkets, airports and garages could all be faced with fuel shortages if tanker drivers decide to strike.

The strike could take place as early as next month causing potential problems over the Easter bank holiday weekend. As a result the Government have started to train army drivers to deliver fuel should they be needed. Crisis plans are being made after the fuel blockade in 2000 under Tony Blair’s Labour Government which saw the fuel shortage cause major disruptions for the UK.

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude assured the public that the Government had learned from the problems in 2000 and have made sure procedures will be put into place as soon as possible if the walkout goes ahead.

Drivers are currently voting on the strike and the ballot ends today but no dates of the strike will be confirmed until meetings have been held with local union reps.

The Cabinet Minister commented on the potential strike saying: “We are calling on the trade union Unite and the employers involved to work together to reach an agreement that will avert industrial action.

“Widespread strike action affecting fuel supply at our supermarkets, garages and airports could cause disruption across the country.

“Although we are pushing for an agreement, we have learnt the lessons of the past and stand ready to act and to minimise disruption to motorists, to industry and, in particular, to our emergency services, in the event of a strike.”

To read some of our article based around fuel shortages visit  

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By Amanda Bainbridge