Petrol stations continue to face fuel shortages across South East, as one in 5 forecourts remain dry

The UK fuel shortage has persisted for over a week, as No 10 refuses to provide date when normal supplies will resume

The South East of England continues to struggle with shortages of petrol, 10 days since issues accessing fuel began.

One in five forecourts in London and the South East are without fuel, according to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).

‘Stabilising demand’

The fuel industry representatives said there had been a "marked improvement" across the rest of the UK, but issues in the South East are “still challenging.”

EG Group, who own 400 sites nationwide, have now lifted its £30 spent cap which was imposed earlier last week, stating it expects fuel demands to be met in the coming days due to the deployment of the army to restore supplies.

About 200 military personnel began driving tankers across Britain to restore empty pumps this morning (4 October), as around 20 percent of forecourts in the South East remained dry this evening.

Petrol stations have faced mile-long queues, like this one in Hemel Hempstead (Picture: PA)Petrol stations have faced mile-long queues, like this one in Hemel Hempstead (Picture: PA)
Petrol stations have faced mile-long queues, like this one in Hemel Hempstead (Picture: PA)

More than 65 drivers have begun deliveries, with plans to increase this to 200 personnel to be deployed in total, including 100 drivers.

The PRA reported 62 percent of the sites surveyed had both grades of fuel available, 18 percent had only one grade and one in five had no fuel at all.

Elsewhere across the UK, “steady deliveries and stabilising demand" has led to over 85 percent of forecourts being stalked up with both grades, less than 10 percent had no fuel.

Is the fuel shortage coming to an end?

No 10 urged drivers not to “panic buy” last week, as it emerged the industry was facing issues with supply and delivering fuel across the country, due to the ongoing shortage of HCG drivers.

The government has now been forced to utilise the military to bring an end to the mile-long queues some petrol stations were facing as people stocked up on fuel.

A government spokesperson said there were signs of improvement in average forecourt stocks across the UK, adding that demand was "continuing to stabilise".

However, the government has stopped short of confirming the crisis is coming to an end.

On 4 October, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s hard to put a specific date on that, as it’s largely driven by demand. We have seen demand return to … starting to return to normal levels, obviously it varies over the country.

“We continue to want to reassure the public that we have significant stocks of fuel around the country.”

He said: “The challenges we saw were driven by demand. The time it takes to recover, again, will depend on what we see over the next few days in terms of demand.

“We’re taking every possible step to bolster supply and we’re seeing … we’re delivering supply significantly over normal levels every single day, and we’ll continue to do that 24 hours a day.”

He added: “We continue to urge the public to fill up only when needed and as part of their normal routine.”