Fuel distributors and the Unite union are poised for a fourth day of negotiations over tanker drivers’ training, safety and employment terms.

Conciliation service Acas is heading up the talks, which first kicked off last Wednesday (4 April) and reconvened yesterday morning (10 April) at 10am following the Easter weekend.

The negotiations follow a majority vote for national strike action announced on 26 March from Unite tanker drivers, which supply fuel to around 90% of UK fuel courts - about 7,900 petrol stations.

Firms involved in the talks include Norbert Dentressangle, Wincanton, Turners (Soham), Hoyer, BP and  DHL (which voted against strike action).

Suckling Transport, whose drivers voted 6:1 against strike action, is not attending the Acas talks, according to MD Peter Larner.

Speaking at the close of yesterday’s meeting, Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood says: "Talks have adjourned for the day and will reconvene tomorrow morning. I am encouraged that talks are continuing and that the parties are committed to finding a way forward."

If negotiations fail, any industrial action would need to take place by 23 April and Unite would need to give seven days’ notice of a strike.