Up to half of Wollongong Radio Cabs’ fleet could be off the road this weekend due to a shortage of LPG in the region.
The cab company’s general manager, George Isiklar, said he had heard about the shortage yesterday from drivers trying to find a place to fill up.
‘‘The drivers are concerned, they started panicking a bit,’’ Mr Isiklar said.
‘‘They’ve gone to one petrol station and there’s nothing there and then to the next petrol station and there’s nothing there.’’
Mr Isiklar said the company planned to hold a crisis meeting with the board to discuss their options, which could include buying their own gas supply.
‘‘Some of the cabs have just got LPG – they don’t have a mix of petrol and gas,’’ Mr Isiklar said.
‘‘If the gas runs out, I’m looking at half my fleet not on the road.’’
Mr Isiklar said the weekend was traditionally the busiest time for the cab company and if half the fleet was not operating, ‘‘it would be a huge loss for us’’.
A Service Stations Association (SSA) spokesman said the shortage was part of fallout from the Cootes Transport crisis.
Last week, a Cootes Transport tanker was involved in a Mona Vale crash that killed two men and injured five others.
After the crash, authorities began inspecting the Cootes Transport fleet in NSW and Victoria, taking up to 70 tankers off the road because of major defects.
The inspections included Cootes’s LPG fleet.
The crisis has led to petrol and gas shortages at Shell, BP, 7/11 and Coles Express stations in many areas.
BP media manager Jamie Jardine said the company had been in talks with Cootes and the situation was ‘‘beginning to improve’’.
‘‘In terms of LPG, they now have enough trucks in NSW that we can keep up with demand,’’ Mr Jardine said.
‘‘But we’ve still not got enough trucks back that we can build up stocks.’’
Mr Jardine said Cootes should have all its trucks back on the road by early next week. But they would need ‘‘another week to 10 days to allow us to catch up and start rebuilding stocks again’’.