According to an industry leader, about 13 per cent of petrol stations in and around London are dry, despite fuel shortages being less elsewhere.
The Petrol Retail Association (PRA) said its daily survey showed 13 per cent of independent retailers in the capital and the southeast – the regions worst hit by the crisis – were also dry on Wednesday.
There has been an improvement of 15 per cent on Tuesday and 22 per cent on Sunday, although some courts have had to wait four days for delivery.
PRA Executive Director Gordon Balmer said: “This is leaving some motorists feeling insecure about the availability of fuel at their local neighborhood filling stations.
“Granthshala forecourts report a complete lack of visibility into when their next delivery might arrive, and some have been dry for four days and are still awaiting deliveries.
“We are yet to see any clarification from the government regarding the benefits arising out of suspension of competition law among major oil companies in the delivery of downstream fuels.
“We need to restore a competitive market with incentives for hires.”
Mr Balmer said some businesses were forced to throw away fresh produce as shop sales fell by 20 to 50 per cent due to the ongoing fuel crisis.
“Most independent retailers have built a reputation with their local customers for reliable service, good amenities, and a well-stocked convenience store,” he said.
“Sadly, retailers are throwing away large quantities of fresh produce as the ‘closed’ sign has halted not only forecourt business but also store sales, with non-fuel sales down 20 to 50 per cent. .
“Efforts by the government to tackle this fuel crisis, now in its fourteenth day, have so far met with only limited success in London and the southeast.
“There is an urgent need to pay a lot of attention to this issue affecting the region.”
Number 10 said on Monday it was “hard to put a specific date” on when fuel supplies would return to normal – but insisted the situation was improving.
This happened as Army tanker drivers began delivering fuel to petrol stations to ease the shortage as Operation Escaline was underway.
Troops were determined to concentrate in London and the south-east, where the worst shortage of fuel remains.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /