Fuel tanker drivers will vote next week on new set of pay and conditions proposals from their employers, lifting the immediate threat of a strike which could seriously disrupt fuel supplies.

Representatives for the Unite union, the Acas mediation service and six fuel delivery firms told reporters they had produced a number of confidential proposals aimed at averting industrial action.

The process has been a challenging one but we are pleased to announce that a set of proposals have been reached, Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood said.

Acas is pleased at this development and hope that the matter will be settled.

A spokesman for Unite told Reuters a deal had not yet been struck but added there would not be any strike next week.

Around 2,000 fuel truckers have voted for a strike, which Unite says could hit 90 percent of Britain's fuel station forecourts and lead to stocks beginning to run dry within 48 hours of any action.

No dates for any action have been set and the union must give seven days' notice for any walkout. The union had faced a deadline of 1600 GMT (05:00 p.m. British Time) on Friday to give that notice, a legal cutoff now extended by seven days to allow drivers to consider the new proposals.

The union will meet next week to consider the offer before responding.

The two sides have been in discussions over tanker drivers' terms and conditions since before the Easter weekend.

Drivers fearing an imminent strike rushed to buy fuel at the end of last month after the government advised motorists to prepare for a stoppage by the tanker drivers.

Fuel retailers condemned the government's warnings as irresponsible and inept after panic buying led to huge queues at petrol stations.

(Reporting by Tim Castle and Matt Falloon; Editing by Alison Williams)