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Petrol panic: Stations across Dorset urged to close by police
POLICE urged petrol stations to close as long queues caused chaos on the roads yesterday.
Motorists were warned to be aware of the emergency services after an ambulance was blocked by cars waiting to turn into a petrol station.
At 11.30am ambulance services called the police to say that traffic queuing on Dorchester road was obstructing the entrance to the ambulance station.
Police went to the scene to help clear traffic.
A spokesman said: “An incident occurred where vehicles waiting to buy fuel at the petrol station on Dorchester Road, in Weymouth, obstructed ambulances waiting to access the main road.
“Dorset Police are asking motorists to avoid panic buying, which has the potential to cause similar incidents and traffic disruption.”
Tailbacks and traffic jams could be seen outside petrol stations in Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester.
The panic came after an announcement by the government that drivers should ‘top up’ their tanks in case a fuel strike by tanker unions went ahead.
Tanker drivers from union Unite recently voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions.
No date has yet been set for the strike and the government has now issued advice to motorists to only fill up when they get to half empty.
In Weymouth, motorists helped each other by pointing out which pumps had diesel and petrol left as stations began to run dry.
Chief Inspector Nick Maton of Dorset Police said people should not panic buy.
He said: “There is no disruption to the fuel supply in the UK and members of the public should not panic buy.
“The actions of some motorists is causing danger to other road users.”
Dorset Police advised five petrol stations across Dorset, including Morrisons in Weymouth, to close for a short time to allow queues to go down.