Hertfordshire County Council continues to insist there is no need for special key worker petrol stations, despite calls from the mayor of Watford for emergency measures.

On Wednesday (September 29), Peter Taylor asked the county council to consider designating some petrol stations for key workers to avoid essential services being disrupted.

Drivers in Hertfordshire are still facing long queues to fill-up a week into the crisis, and shortages in some areas could continue into next week, with some workers claiming they cannot travel to work without petrol.

The Government has insisted there is no fuel shortage, and it was a supply issue as a result of a lack of drivers to supply petrol to forecourts.

To prevent major disruption for key workers, Liberal Democrats in Watford called on the county council to consider designating some stations for key workers.

Similar action was taken during the September 2000 fuel crisis.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “I have been contacted by several key workers who are struggling to get fuel for their jobs. I have raised this with Hertfordshire County Council and asked them to consider designating some petrol stations for key workers to ensure that our essential services can continue as normal.

“I would encourage everyone to be considerate of others and only get fuel if you need it.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Stephen Giles-Medhurst added that he had spoken to colleagues at the county council about the measure, but was told it would only be possible with permission from the Government.

Hertfordshire County Council however continue to insist there are no plans to introduce key worker petrol stations or any other emergency measures to deal with the shortage.

The county council added there had been no major impact or disruption to the delivery of their service.

Councillor Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council said: “We understand that fuel stocks are now stabilising and we can all help this situation in Hertfordshire by following the Government advice and continuing with our normal arrangements for filling up with fuel.

“By continuing to act in a sensible way, we can avoid further disruption to us all, and in particular to key workers.

“In addition to many staff continuing to work from home where they can, we’ve also seen an increase of informal car-sharing arrangements, as well as anecdotal evidence that more children are walking to school this week.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse warned today (October 1) that it could be a “week or so” before the situation at the petrol pumps returned to normal.

The Petrol Retailers Association also said that while the situation at filling stations is improving it is happening “far too slowly”.

Chief executive Gordon Balmer said not enough fuel was getting through to independent stations.

“In a PRA member survey today of 1,100 sites across the UK including motorway service areas, 47% of sites have reported having both petrol and diesel in stock, 27% have either one grade in stock and 26% are dry,” he said.

“Whilst the situation is similar to recent days, there are signs that it is improving, but far too slowly. Independents which total 65% of the entire network are not receiving enough deliveries of fuel compared with other sectors.

“Until independents start getting frequent supplies, we will continue to see long queues at forecourts. It is vital now to ensure we get fuel to all parts of the country in order to reduce queues and reassure the public again.”