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Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Monday, 26 March 2012 10:17 UK

Strike action will 'sorely test' energy reserves

Two thousand drivers who supply petrol to UK forecourts have been voting on whether or not to go on strike. The vote was called for last month following union concerns about safety and training, among other issues.

When drivers went on strike back in 2000, the nation almost ground to a halt but Brian Madderson, chairman of the RMI Petrol Retailers Association told the Today programme's Evan Davis that there is "less petrol and diesel in stock" and poorer geographical coverage than there was in 2000.

He said there were 400 to 500 retail sites closing every year across the UK and that they are calling on the government to intervene because "one day the energy resilience will be sorely tested".

Mr Madderson added that the remaining petrol stations are also under pressure because of the rising price of crude oil and so the cost of stocking up is higher - and because banks are not extending credit, many sites do not keep reserve fuel.

"Nobody keeps huge stocks underground", he said, "so this will be a testing time for the whole network of logistics."

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