Government slammed over fuel crisis

The Government has been criticised over its handling of the fuel drivers row as motorists resorted to panic buying and a Cabinet Office minister suggested they should fill up spare jerry cans with petrol.

The Fire Brigades Union warned that Francis Maude's jerry can call would increase the risk of fires and explosions, and urged the advice to be withdrawn.

Petrol station operators criticised the Government, saying it seemed "intent on creating a crisis" which could see forecourts run out of petrol within days.

Talk of fuel rationing will act as a reminder to motorists to ensure they havebreakdown cover in the event of running out of petrol.

Energy companies and motoring groups have urged people not to panic buy and Prime Minister David Cameron has chaired a meeting of ministers to talk about contingency plans in the event of a tanker drivers strike.

Brian Madderson, of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, said petrol sales rose 45% and diesel sales 20% on a normal Tuesday this week.

The federation represents independent forecourt operators.

Copyright Press Association 2012