Talks aimed at resolving the fuel tanker drivers dispute and head off the threat of strikes resumed today.
Officials from the Unite union and seven distribution companies met under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas throughout the day yesterday to reach a deal over drivers' terms and conditions and other issues such as health and safety.
The talks, held at an undisclosed location, were adjourned in the early hours of the morning but restarted this morning.
Meanwhile, a survey of 991 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) showed that 82% feared a fuel strike would have a negative impact on their business.
The IoD urged both sides in the dispute to settle their differences swiftly and without strike action, which it warned would cause "huge disruption" to the economy.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said:"Our members are very worried about the impact this strike will have on their businesses, which is adding uncertainty to an already difficult economic climate.
"The last thing business needs at the moment is for staff not to be able to get to work and deliveries being halted in their tracks.
"It is clear that the strike would do a lot of damage and cause a huge amount of disruption to people who are already working extremely hard to keep the wheels of the economy turning."