RATIONING was imposed at a Newport filling station this week while the pumps ran dry at the other as drivers began panic buying ahead of a possible strike.
At Nix Service Station, on Forton Road, sales were restricted to £30 per customer. The pumps bled dry on both Wednesday and Thursday at the Shell garage on Lower Barr.
Both filling stations told of sales rocketing as drivers panicked at the prospect of strike action by tanker drivers.
David Cameron was blamed by many motorists for stirring up a crisis by encouraging stockpiling, even though no date for industrial action has been set by drivers’ unions.
David Smith, owner of Nix Service Station, confirmed sales at his pumps were restricted. He said four day’s worth of fuel had been sold on Wednesday, causing long queues at the pump.
He said: “We’re rationing customers to £30. We’re the only station in the area with fuel, so it stops people being greedy.
“But at this rate we’ll run out before too long anyway. We are not having a delivery until Monday.”
The Shell garage had 38,000 litres of petrol delivered on Tuesday and a further 23,000 on Wednesday.
Forecourt attendant Mohammad Faheern said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. People are panicking. Our regular customers who usually put in £10 or £20 are filling up.
“They are then coming back later with a second car to fill that up as well.
“We sold out on Wednesday, had a delivery over night and were empty again by 8am on Thursday. It’s crazy.”
Mr Faheern added the station was expecting a delivery of fuel on Thursday afternoon.
Terry Spooner, manager director at Ultimate Taxis in Newport, said the chaos at the pumps was a big concern for his business.
Each car in Ultimate’s 20-strong fleet needs to be filled up at least once a day.
He said: “It’s an absolute nightmare. Time is money for us and we can’t have drivers waiting half an hour to fill up.
“Fuel is the lifeblood of our industry. When it’s difficult to get it causes massive problems. Our drivers have been into Telford, but it’s just as bad there.”