Fuel shortage fears as ministers spark panic

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Motorists rushing to buy petrol as government accused of causing unnecessary fears

The government has been blamed for causing panic among the nation’s motorists by advising them to top up their tanks in light of a possible strike by tanker drivers belonging to the Unite union.

And as police in some areas of Britain call for petrol stations to close as a means to ease congestion and avoid alarm, people throughout the UK could find themselves facing increasing difficulty accessing forecourts.

"We now have self-inflicted shortages due to poor advice about topping up the tank," said AA President Edmund King.

Cabinet MP Francis Maude has also come under fire for advising that people fill up jerrycans in case of any disruption to supply, as storing petrol in the wrong conditions can be potentially dangerous.

While there is no definitive indication that the strike will even go ahead, the panic buying that appears to have gripped the nation could serve to intensify any shortage of supply that might occur if the union decides to go ahead with its walkout.

Employees are said to be considering action in protest against their working conditions, but any firm decision is yet to be made.

As such, employers throughout the country may see themselves having to deal with the possibility of a significantly reduced workforce should employees’ cars be put out of action by the current furore.

Businesses that have invested in a remote backup service will be better equipped to deal with any crisis as such systems make it possible for workers to access files, data and information so long as they are connected to the internet.

If fuel shortages do sweep the country and the population’s vehicles are forced to sit by until supply can cope with demand, companies will be hoping that their systems are capable of supporting potentially higher levels of home workers in the coming days.

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