Wed. May 18th, 2022

A leading industry body has accused the government of “inadequate prioritization” – with London, the South East and the East of England still suffering from low fuel levels.

The southeast is struggling the most, with the fuel stock remaining below 20% as the area continues to be hit HGV driver shortage.

Gas stations in London and the East of England have slightly higher stocks with between 20% and 40% capacity.

The rest of England, all of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are back to normal fuel levels (above 40%), of course.

In the last nine days, it is believed, on average, that more fuel has been delivered to the forecourts than has been sold.

Army commanders were deployed on Monday to deliver fuel and free up civilian drivers, who are now focusing on deliveries to London and the South East.

However, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), Brian Madderson, warned that fuel supplies were being sent to “the wrong parts of the country”.

He claimed that independent retailers represented by his group were denied access to information from discussions between the government, hauliers and oil companies.

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“We do not know when deliveries will arrive and we do not know how they will be prioritized,” he said.

“The return to normal fuel volumes continues to be ruined by the current inappropriate prioritization policy.”

He said the government’s decision to suspend competition law to allow the fuel industry to share information was a “failed experiment”.

“It is now time for the government to step down, reintroduce competition law and restore market disciplines so that ordinary business incentives fuel the gas stations that need it,” Madderson added.

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HGV, which supplies fuel, is operated by the military

“The recovery is simply not happening fast enough. We are in our 15th day of crisis.

“An independent inquiry into the crisis needs to be conducted so that motorists are protected from such acute fuel shortages in the future.”

A member of the armed forces is sitting in the cab of a tanker after helping deliver fuel to a garage in Waltham Abbey, Essex.  Image Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
Picture:
Army drivers began delivering fuel Monday

The PRA said a survey it conducted found that 12% of petrol stations in London and the South East are still dry, while 17% have only one fuel grade.

Outside London and the South East, 90% of service stations had both qualities compared to 71% in the two areas.

Average inventory levels in the UK fell to 15% on September 25, the day after panic purchases started, with fuel sales rising 80% compared to normal levels.

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