MORNING UPDATE: North Walsham, Sheringham and Coltishall fuel runs out as motorists flock to fill up in Cromer, Holt, Roughton, Mundesley and Alby

North Norfolk's largest town was left without any petrol or diesel this morning as pumps ran dry at North Walsham's Sainsbury's filling station.

The store giant on Bacton Road ran out of diesel at 5.15pm and unleaded fuel at 8pm - leaving queues of frustrated motorists facing disappointment.

Staff said a delivery was 'expected this morning', but they were uncertain whether it would come.

Meanwhile, panic buying at petrol pumps forced North Norfolk District Council to suspend bin rounds as its waste collection firm was unable to get 'consistent supplies' of fuel.

The authority took the drastic step of suspending the collection of garden bins with immediate effect, as contractor Kier was struggling to find fuel for its vehicles.


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The suspension will be in force for two weeks but regular waste and recycling collections will continue as normal.

John Lee, deputy leader and cabinet member for environmental services, said: 'We are very sorry we have had to take this decision as we know it will inconvenience some people. However, we believe it is better to take controlled steps now, involving garden waste collections only, rather than have to interfere with the regular waste and recycling collections.'

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The authority hoped the fuel situation would return to normal by April 13.

The dash to fill up resulted in queues of frustrated motorists forming at filling stations across the district.

Coltishall Island had closed its pumps by 4.30pm after supplies ran dry and staff said they were not expecting a delivery until Saturday.

In Mundesley Crayford and Abbs garage began rationing customers to a maximum of �20 of petrol or diesel at about 11am. Workshop manager Gavin Plummer said they had been inundated with motorists from all over the county who were filling up their vehicles with �70 or �80 worth of fuel.

'We decided to do it because our regular customers, who keep us going and support us through the winter, were having their noses put out of joint,' said Mr Plummer.

'People haven't been too pleased about it but if they're sensible, and keep coming back, they should be all right.'

The garage is expecting fresh fuel deliveries on Monday. Mr Plummer was unsure whether supplies would hold out until then.

Roughton Service Station reported a busy day, with queues on the forecourt forming from 6am. Phil Murphy, deputy manager, said the garage had been 'absolutely manic' all day.

He added: 'We have been queued off our forecourt from 6 o'clock this morning. We're fine as far as fuel supplies are concerned, we've just had a delivery so we're pretty much topped up.'

In Sheringham, there was nowhere to buy fuel because the town's sole service station, on Weybourne Road, ran out. A sign outside said supplies were expected today.

Scores of cars queued outside Morrisons filling station on Runton Road in Cromer, with a number of pumps out of service by the afternoon.

At Alby Service Station, fuel ran out on Wednesday evening. But a tanker was at the site yesterday morning with new supplies as a host of vehicles created potential danger by lining up on the main A140 Cromer to Norwich road.

Holt's petrol station reported queues of motorists at its forecourt throughout the day but had been able to keep up with supply thanks to a delivery this morning.

Nigel Haigh, from the station, warned levels could be 'critically low' by Friday night as its next delivery was not due until Saturday.

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