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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 06:52 GMT 07:52 UK
Large queues at petrol stations
Queue of cars at petrol station
Panic buying has been taking place across the North West
Large queues of motorists developed at some petrol stations in Greater Manchester early on Tuesday morning.

The Shell garage on Princess Parkway in the city had to shut because it ran out of petrol.

In Merseyside police said drivers dialling 999 to find out where to buy fuel had caused their phone system to crash and urged motorists to stop.

Three days of fuel price protests are expected to start on Wednesday but supplies are not going to be disrupted.

There were large queues reported at the BP station on the Parkway, going out of Manchester, and at the Shell garage near Wilmslow police station, in Cheshire.

'No blockades'

There were also reports of queuing motorists at Greengate, in Middleton, and the Tesco stores at Westwood, in Oldham, and Portwood in Stockport.

In Merseyside, there were similar reports at the Sainsburys petrol station in Prenton and at a garage in West Kirkby.

In Lancashire, several petrol stations had closed after running out of fuel in Preston and Blackburn.

Instances of panic buying have taken place despite even the fuel protesters saying they will not be blockading supplies from refineries.

The Fuel Lobby's Andrew Spence said panic buying is unnecessary.

He said no attempts to disrupt supplies were being planned so there was no need for motorists to stock up.

Police plea over panic at pumps
12 Sep 05 |  Merseyside

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