There has been no improvement in fuel supplies at independent petrol stations since Wednesday, according to the Petrol Retailers Association.
The PRA, which represents independent fuel retailers, said that more than a quarter (27%) of its members’ were still out of fuel on Thursday.
That was better than the 37% which were out of fuel on Tuesday, but demand remained higher than usual, it said. However, the AA said it saw signs that the pressure was starting to ease.
The PRA represents nearly 5,500 of the UK’s 8,300 petrol stations. But Thursday’s figures were based on responses from 1,500 stations, according to the BBC.
“Trying to calm this down appears to be a monumental task at the moment,” said PRA chairman Brian Madderson.
“The surge in demand appears to be continuing,” he said. “There’s been no easing off of the pressure from drivers wanting to refuel whenever they can, wherever they can.”
Although some queues remain in London, the South East and some other areas, AA president Edmund King said daily improvements were now visible.
The PRA told the BBC that it had also received “anecdotal” evidence that the problems were more acute in London and the South East. It said that Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales appeared to be “mostly ok”.
The PRA’s Mr Madderson said he had written to the government this morning to warn them of prices rising, according to BBC. He stated that a gas price rise will likely be due to a rise in the price of Brent Crude oil, as well as a fall in the value of the pound against the dollar.
“Those two [factors] have already started to impinge on wholesale prices, which have gone up – in the last three nights – by nearly 3p a litre,” he explained.
The governments’ plans to use the army in fuel delivery may help ease the crisis. However, it just may be less important than incentivising a change in public behaviour, Madderson points out.
Industry leaders have condemned physical and verbal abuse suffered by service station employees during the crisis.
Gordon Balmer, the executive director of the PRA, said the abuse was “completely unacceptable”. He asserted that the service providers could not be blamed at all for the current dilemma.
Meanwhile, petrol station group EG said its workers would get a 5% pay raise. The service providers have achieved “heroic” work since the start of the Covid pandemic, quotes the BBC.
The wage increase is said to take the minimum rate for over-18s to £9.50 per hour at EG Group, which was founded by the Asda-owning Issa brothers.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the billionaire co-founders, said to the BBC: “Our colleagues have pulled out all the stops and been nothing short of heroic during often very difficult times since the start of the pandemic.
Learn More about the Fuel Crisis here:
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