Workers "fuming" over traffic delays
2:40pm Saturday 20th October 2012 in County News
Refinery workers have warned that tempers are in danger of boiling over as thousands of staff queue to leave the site every evening.
Around 1,500 extra staff have been drafted in to work on the Valero refinery turnaround, or shutdown, causing a huge bottleneck as they go to leave at 6pm.
Angry contractors have contacted the Western Telegraph furious about the traffic jams which they say are adding at least an hour to travel times.
One said he thought people’s patience would soon run out: “Cars are almost touching with the horns blaring all the time,” the worker said.
“It’s only a matter of time until there’s a bump between cars and then a fight – people are fuming about it.”
Another said: “You have around an extra 1,500 boys down there and the queues are ridiculous.
“You have this car park but just one way in and out and it’s ridiculous – you work until 6pm but you can be sat there for an hour when you just want to get home and when you aren’t being paid.
“Valero needs to sort it out and soon before it really kicks off.”
A spokesman for the refinery said that the safety of all employees, contractors and members of the public was key but acknowledged: “We are aware that problems have been experienced with additional traffic on the roads around the refinery in the evening during this period.”
Valero said it had provided 32 17-seater minibuses in addition to those offered by contractor companies and “overall vehicle numbers have already reduced”.
The spokesman added: “Focusing on minimising the disruption for all our employees, contractors and the local community is a priority.
“We ask for patience during this short period when the large increase in workforce is bound to create traffic delays on the county’s rural roads at peak times.”