East Yorkshire fuel company Rix Petroleum is gearing up for winter by taking on extra tanker drivers and stockpiling barrels of heating oil.

After media reports suggested this year’s wet summer will lead to a long, cold winter, the Hull firm is keen to minimise any potential disruption to fuel supply across the region, regardless of how bad the weather might get.

More drivers will mean the company can have more tankers out on East Yorkshire’s roads when demand for fuel is highest which will help to offset the longer delivery times often associated with the winter period.

Home owners needing to collect heating oil in person will be able to pick up 25 litre emergency barrels from Rix’s Bankside depot, which are being set aside should snow cause difficulties on the roads.

Duncan Lambert, director and general manager at Rix Petroleum Ltd, said the company was keen to take the initiative in the light of the reports suggesting the UK might be in for a bad winter.

He said it was important they were geared up to deal with all weathers as customers relied on them to keep their houses warm when temperatures fall.

Mr Lambert said: “Anyone who remembers the winter of 2010/11 will recall just how bad the British weather can get; there were reports of temperatures plummeting to minus 19 degrees centigrade which just goes to show how unpredictable winter can be.

“Although we are not necessarily expecting a repeat of those conditions, you can never predict what the weather has in store and with the media suggesting this winter could be bad we decided that we simply couldn’t be over prepared.

“In previous years we have invested large sums in buying snow tyres and chains for our tanker fleet, which will be on standby again this winter, and now we have decided to bring in more tanker drivers to ensure deliveries are made as efficiently as possible.

“But as an extra precaution we are building up a hefty supply of barrels at our depot which people will be able to collect in the worst-case-scenario situation that snow and ice make for hazardous driving conditions for our tankers.”