Petrol crisis: Situation still 'serious' in London as uncertainty over deliveries continue

12 October 2021, 18:16 | Updated: 12 October 2021, 18:31

Queues have continued across London and the South-East.
Queues have continued across London and the South-East. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Shortages at petrol stations across London and the South-East remain "serious" due to fuel not being delivered where it is needed most, retailers have warned.

The Petrol Retailers Association says a "large majority" of filling stations don't know when their next delivery will be, leading to uncertainty at the pumps.

Brian Madderson, the chair of the association, said the situation in London and the South-East "remains serious".

"There are many reports of wet sites quickly going dry because the continuity of tankers remains out of kilter with orders," he explained.

In recent weeks fuel supply has steadily increased in parts of the north, however in London, the East of England and the South-East, supplies have been running out much quicker.

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Mr Madderson said the reason for this disparity is because pumps in these areas are used more frequently than elsewhere.

He also said the crisis is heightened in these areas as there are more cars to be filled per station than the GB average.

Mr Madderson has called for these pumps to be refuelled more often to ease the pressures at forecourts.

He said: "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."

However, he 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".

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Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that filling station storage tanks in the South East - including London - were 16% full at the end of the day on Sunday October 3, compared with 25% across the whole of Britain.

The fuel crisis started when BP announced on September 23 it would have to close a handful of its petrol stations, causing a surge in demand.

151 military drivers have since been deployed to deliver fuel, according to the government.

A government spokesman said: "Thanks to interventions we have made, forecourt stocks have substantially improved in all regions of the UK.

"We continue to work closely with industry to help increase stocks further.

"As the industry has said, we have ample fuel reserves and the return of normal buying habits by the public has reduced the exceptional demand seen in previous weeks."