Motorists of New South Wales and Victoria are being urged not to panic and rush to buy fuel, despite hundreds of transport tankers being grounded and investigated following an explosive crash in Sydney that resulted in two fatalities.
Cootes Transport grounded its heavy vehicle fleet of trucks on Saturday and withdrew from the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme as the NSW Roads and Maritime Service and VicRoads carried out checks of its vehicles.
A total of 461 trucks have been checked across both states, with 85 ordered off the road and more than 350 defect notices handed down for issues including those relating to brake, suspension and steering faults.
A BP spokesperson told AAP the company was operating at 64 per cent of its normal capacity.
“With so many vehicles off the road, our distribution networks have been disrupted, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney,” he said.
“If it would normally take three days to fulfil an order, it’s now taking four days.”
He said the company was doing everything it could to get supply moving again, including diverting some of its own trucks from regional areas.
According to AAP, Colin Long of the NSW Service Station Association said while some fuel stations in Sydney and the Central Coast were starting to run out of certain fuel types, and one in the Blue Mountains had run out of everything, there was no cause for alarm.
“There’s no reason to panic-buy because we anticipate within a few days those deliveries will be back to normal,” Long said.
In South Australia, LPG supplies have also reportedly been affected.
The trigger for the initial investigation was an incident on Mona Vale Road on Wednesday October 2 at about 3:40pm (AEST), in which a fuel tanker carrying 18,000 litres of fuel rolled onto its side and exploded, colliding with several cars. Two men were killed and five people, including the tanker’s driver, were injured.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay is calling for a review of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme in response to the fatal accident.