Motorists in the North West are being warned they could face potential fuel shortages.

The warning comes as fuel tanker drivers are set to go on strike next week, with the consequences set to be felt at the forecourt pumps and in aviation.

Unite the union said around 50 members based at the Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, who work for Hoyer, which recently rebranded as Oxalis, are to walk out in a dispute over pay.

Unite said they are angry their pay offer is significantly lower than that offered to drivers in other parts of the country.

It said their offer is £2 an hour lower than being offered to Oxalis drivers in Birmingham and Thurrock, in Essex.

The planned industrial action could mean fuel shortages around the North West and Scottish Borders. The workers deliver fuel from Stanlow to Shell, BP and Esso forecourts.

They also deliver to Jet2 at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which could affect flights to the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, the Algarve, Madeira, Greek islands, parts of Eastern Europe, Malta and Turkey

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: "Oxalis is treating its Stanlow-based drivers as second-class workers.

"There is absolutely no reason why this profitable company should not be paying these workers the same rates as pay as their colleagues based elsewhere.

"They will receive Unite’s total support as they strike for equal pay.”

The drivers will go on strike from Thursday, June 6, to Saturday 8, and from Thursday, June 13, to Saturday 15, with further strikes tabled if the issue is not resolved.

Paul Lomax, regional officer for Unite, added: "Oxalis’ clients will not be happy that their customers face fuel shortages because the company is trying to pay its Stanlow-based drivers less than their colleagues doing the same job elsewhere.

"Oxalis needs to put forward an equal offer or this dispute will escalate."

The Hoyer Group has been contacted for comment.