Hopes of an end to the threat of a tanker driver strike were raised following a statement from the conciliation service Acas announcing that a set of proposals had been reached.

Conciliation talks involving the Unite union and tanker driver contractors have been ongoing for six days. These have resulted in a set of proposals which will be considered by union representatives next week.

Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood said: "Over the past fortnight the six contractors have met with the Unite trade union through the Acas conciliation service. Acas has been shuttling between the parties and the process has been a challenging one but we are pleased to announce that a set of proposals have been reached."

"As you would expect the details of the proposals are confidential until the parties report back to their respective organisations. After that the details may be disclosed by the parties themselves."

"The extension to the ballot period was agreed to enable those consultations to take place."

"Acas is pleased at this development and hope that the matter will soon be settled."

The tanker drivers threatened strike action over safey, pay and working conditions, and prompted panic-buying at the pumps in the run-up to Easter.

UKPIA, the trade association representing the main oil refining and marketing companies in the UK, welcomes the news that the parties to the dispute between tanker drivers represented by Unite and their employers will consider proposals following talks at ACAS.

Chris Hunt, director general of UKPIA commented: “We very much hope that this dispute will be settled through these negotiations between the parties, avoiding action that could cause disruption at a time when the UK oil refining sector is already facing major challenges.”

Related stories:

>>Fuel tanker driver conciliation talks press on >> Madderson slams Energy Resilience plan an ’embarrassing failure’