Petrol shortages are STILL serious in London and South East with 10 per cent of forecourts empty and ‘large majority’ not knowing when next fuel delivery will arrive
- Drivers have faced long queues and soaring prices at the pump in recent weeks
- Motorists are enduring the most expensive average prices for fuel since 2013
- While the crisis has eased, industry bosses warn shortages remain in many areas
Petrol shortages are still serious in London and the South East – with 10 per cent of forecourts remaining empty.
Industry experts say a ‘large majority’ of retailers did not know when they would receive their next fuel delivery as the crisis continues to rumble on.
Drivers who have been fortunate enough to find petrol and diesel in recent weeks have often had to endure long queues and increased prices when filling up.
While bosses acknowledge the situation has improved in the last few days, shortages still remain in many areas.
Petrol shortages are still serious in London and the South East – with 10 per cent of forecourts remaining empty
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, said: ‘There are many reports of wet sites quickly going dry because the continuity of tankers remains out of kilter with orders.
‘The situation in London and the South East remains serious.’
Mr Madderson said there had been ‘a welcome improvement’ in the region over the weekend with 10% of non-motorway sites running out of fuel, which was ‘not far behind the rest of the country’.
The figure was based on a survey of a quarter of petrol stations.
He cited figures from motoring research charity the RAC Foundation which indicated that filling stations in London and the South East were used more intensely than those elsewhere.
Mr Madderson said: ‘These filling stations therefore need to be refuelled more often.
‘The need to refuel filling stations in London and the South East is even more necessary when customers panic buy, because there are more cars to be filled per station there than the GB average.’
The fuel crisis begin when demand surged after BP announced on September 23 it would have to close a handful of its petrol stations.
The Government says it has taken a number of steps to relieve pressure on petrol stations, such as deploying military tanker drivers and exempting the fuel industry from competition laws.
New figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show the average price of petrol at UK forecourts was 137.17p per litre on Monday, up 2p per litre from before the crisis began.
Drivers who have been fortunate enough to find petrol and diesel in recent weeks have often had to endure long queues and increased prices when filling up
Diesel has increased by 3p per litre over the same period, to 140.66p per litre.
These are the most expensive average prices for petrol and diesel since September 2013.
It comes as new figures show shoppers have cut back on trips to the supermarket to save petrol amid Britain’s fuel crisis.
The latest data from Kantar revealed that the average household made 15.5 grocery store visits in the past four weeks – the lowest monthly figure since February.
The report showed that visits to forecourts in the South of England jumped by 66% on Friday September 24, at the height of the fuel crisis, as motorists queued to fill up their tanks ahead of the weekend.
Overall grocery sales fell 1.2% to £28.8 billion year on year in the 12 weeks to October 3, although they remained 8.1% higher than before Covid-19, according to the figures.
Supermarket sales have been easing back since May due to tough comparisons with a year earlier, when coronavirus lockdowns and hospitality closures saw grocery sales soar.
But the drop in supermarket trips meant a rise in the proportion of groceries bought online – up 12.4% in the past month compared with a 12.2% rise in September and following seven months of declines.
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