The temporary loss of a 24-hour petrol station in Ross-shire has sparked fears that 999 cover is being compromised.
Opening hours for the petrol station at Dingwall’s Tesco have been reduced to 6am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 7am to 9pm on Sundays.
It is understood that emergency service vehicles are having to make the 25-minute journey to Inverness to refuel vehicles – which mean they are more likely to get caught up in city emergencies.
One emergency services worker, who does not wish to be named, said they were “very concerned”.
They said: “If we get a call while at a fuel station in Inverness, and we’re closest, we will get called to it rather than the Inverness team.
“This inevitably means there is less cover for the area we are supposed to cover.”
The emergency service worker has called for reinstating a pay at the pump facility to allow night-time refuelling.
Local MSP Kate Forbes said: “Given that 24-hour fuel is readily available in places like Scourie on Scotland’s north coast, it does seem surprising that a supermarket giant like Tesco cannot facilitate this relatively simple facility in a town like Dingwall.”
A Tesco spokesman apologised for the outage claiming it is due to a “technical problem”.
He said the supermarket giant is awaiting an upgrade which will allow normal service to resume.
Emergency services responded last night by saying measures are put in place to ensure vehicles do not run out of fuel.
Station Commander Ricky Dibble of the fire service said “robust mobilising procedures” are in place to ensure a response is delivered “with the appropriate resources”.
He added that locals can be “assured” emergency cover is reviewed to ensure “appropriate cover is maintained at all times”.