News that Unite tanker drivers had rejected proposals which would avert a strike sparked an uplift in fuel volumes yesterday, according to RMI Petrol.

Sales of unleaded were up 25.9% against the previous Thursday (April 12), while diesel volumes rose by 11%. Super diesel sales increased by 24.6% and super unleaded saw a 3.1% rise.

“There seems to have been a material uptick in sales volumes yesterday which confirms anecdotal evidence from forecourts received during the day,” said a spokesperson for RMI Petrol. “This suggests that although there was little or no panic buying, motorists were taking the opportunity to restock their vehicles ahead of any possible industrial action by tanker drivers.

“We now know that talks involving all parties and facilitated by Acas will continue in the early part of next week as will re-balloting of Hoyer drivers due to issues about missed votes,” added the spokesperson. “There is still every possibility that the dispute will be settled without the threatened industrial action being triggered.”

RMI Petrol noted that year-on-year volumes of unleaded petrol are still down against 2011 while diesel demand remains solid as drivers change motoring habits to save fuel costs and diesel cars continue to become more prominent on the roads.