Panic stations as petrol pumps in Mablethorpe and Sutton run dry

Queues formed at the Empire Garage in Alford Road, Mablethorpe.
Queues formed at the Empire Garage in Alford Road, Mablethorpe.

MABLETHORPE’S only petrol station was forced to close for three days after panic buyers pumped it dry on Friday morning.

The Empire Garage in Alford Road had to contend with huge queues from Tuesday as the threat of strike action by tanker drivers saw motorists descend on the pumps.

The garage remained closed until Monday afternoon when their next scheduled fuel delivery arrived.

It meant the town was without a working filling station for the entire weekend.

The Empire’s Jo Roper said the panic buying had meant a loss of revenue for the business.

“We had extra takings because of the panic buying but had to close for three days,” she said.

“We’ll see how things go for next week and the panic buying could start again but we’re not looking that far ahead at the minute.”

JD Birch and Son in Sutton on Sea also ran dry on Monday afternoon after a ‘busy weekend’ but were expecting another delivery on Tuesday while Steve Wood Motors had managed to keep serving throughout.

The tanker dispute which caused the panic centres on concerns over health and safety, training and pensions, and talks were scheduled between union UNITE and ACAS for today (Wednesday).

“We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks breakdown,” a spokesperson warned.

Motorists rushed to the pumps after being repeatedly advised by Government ministers to keep their tanks topped up.

Cabinet minister Francis Maude had said people should store perhaps ‘a little bit of fuel in a jerrycan in the garage’, advice which was later heavily criticised after a woman in York suffered 40 per cent burns when transferring petrol in her kitchen.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation said the country had seen rises in sales of 171.8 per cent and 76.8 per cent of unleaded and diesel respectively compared with the previous week.

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