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  1. ITV Report

Queues and shortages as motorists told: 'don't panic'

Half of petrol stations in Weymouth, Dorset were left without fuel after panic buying. Photo:

Petrol stations across the country have been inundated by motorists, as the Government dismissed accusations that it had triggered panic buying ahead of the impending strike by fuel tanker drivers.

Our Political Correspondent Alex Forrest looks at how the looming tanker driver strike has impacted on motorists and Downing Street.

Demand soared across the country, prompting long queues and some petrol stations to run out of fuel completely.

The manager of Westbury Park petrol station in Bristol told ITV West Country that he had taken £41,000 in the past 24 hours. He described it as "better than Christmas".

Drivers queue for fuel at a Shell Garage in Liverpool. Credit: Press Association

The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents about 5,500 garages, blamed advice from the Government on keeping tanks topped up, including the much-criticised call by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to fill up jerry cans.

The political row over the Government's handling of the dispute also continued to rage, with Labour describing it as "a shambles and chaotic".

Whereas Chancellor George Osborne told ITV News the Trade Union had a responsibility to call off the threat of strike action for the sake of the economy.

ITV New's Consumer Editor spoke to one tanker driver about why his colleagues have voted to take industrial action.

Today the conciliation service Acas announced talks over the tanker drivers dispute will not be held before Monday.

Acas officials have been in contact with the Unite union and seven distribution companies involved in the row in a bid to convene a meeting and head off the threat of industrial action.

Philip Dingle, a member of the RMI Petrol Association in Attleborough in Norfolk, told ITV News there would not be a problem if motorists only bought what fuel they needed.

But the warnings were not observed by motorists who continued to queue in a bid to fill up their tanks.

For further petrol updates from the regions click below:

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