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Fuel shortages in France causing chaos for travellers, says haulier

By Neil Lancefield

Published 24/05/2016

Tanker drivers wait to refuel at the entrance of the tanker depot at La Rochelle in France
Tanker drivers wait to refuel at the entrance of the tanker depot at La Rochelle in France

A haulier from Northern Ireland has warned travellers heading for France that fuel shortages caused by an industrial dispute are causing major problems.

And some British visitors have already been stranded after running out of petrol, a breakdown recovery firm said.

The AA revealed that several of its members have needed assistance due to filling stations imposing restrictions amid blockades of fuel depots in protest at labour market reforms.

The Freight Transport Association reported UK lorry drivers are also struggling with the fuel shortage.

Belfast-based Tony Henderson, who regularly travels to France, said some filling stations are limiting drivers to buying less than a quarter of a tank of petrol.

"If you can't get fuel, you can't move," he said.

"And if you have a full tank then you're a sitting target overnight for thieves. It's a Catch-22 situation. It would help if the overhead gantries on the motorways gave information but there's no help at all."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice with a warning over fuel rationing in parts of northern and north-west France.

And with thousands of football fans from Northern Ireland preparing to travel to France for the Euro 2016 football finals, the advice is to fill up before landing in France - even if continental prices are lower.

Edmund King, AA president, said: "AA breakdown services in Europe have been taking calls from UK drivers who have run out of fuel.

"We are recovering vehicles stuck at the side of the road to places of safety until fuel supplies are resumed."

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