UK fuel crisis remains major problem in London

Military will help deliver petrol to forecourts on Monday

The UK’s fuel crisis has potentially worsened in London and the south-east of England, but the situation is improving in other parts of the country, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says.

On Monday, the military will be deployed to deliver fuel, although the PRA said it would have only a limited impact.

Many petrol stations across the country have been drained of their supplies as motorists started to panic buy fuel due to fears over lorry driver shortages. The government has been forced to offer visa waivers to foreign truckers to plug the shortfall.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, which represents roughly 5,500 of the UK's 8,300 petrol stations, said the situation was particularly precarious in some of the most populated areas of the country.

“In London and the south-east and possibly parts of eastern England, if anything it had got worse” he told the BBC.

Mr Madderson welcomed the move to deploy military drivers, but cautioned about how much of an impact it would have.

“This isn’t going to be the major panacea,” he said. “It’s a large help but in terms of the volume, they are not going to be able to carry that much.

“We do need a prioritisation of deliveries to filling stations – particularly the independent ones which are the neighbourhood retail sites – in London and the south-east starting immediately.”

On Friday, the government insisted there was no shortage of fuel in the UK and said a lack of tanker drivers to deliver fuel and unprecedented demand is behind the crisis.

“Almost 200 military tanker personnel, 100 of which are drivers, will be deployed from Monday to provide temporary support as part of the government's wider action to further relieve pressure on petrol stations and address the shortage of HGV drivers,” the government said.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Saturday the fuel situation is stabilising for most parts of the country.

“I think it is right that as a precaution that the Government has asked the military to help. I think that is the right measure to take to make sure that people have all the confidence that they need,” he told Sky News.

Updated: October 2nd 2021, 11:13 AM
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