Fuel shortages still 'big problem' in parts of East Anglia, says industry boss

A petrol industry boss has warned shortages are still an issue in East Anglia.

A petrol industry boss has warned shortages are still an issue in East Anglia. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fuel shortages remain a “big problem” in the East of England,  the chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has warned. 

Brian Madderson said issues are getting worse in some parts of the country and drivers could face higher prices at petrol pumps. 

He said: "In London and the South East and possibly parts of eastern England, if anything it had got worse." 

Mr Madderson welcomed the announcement that military drivers are to be deployed from Monday, but he warned it will only have a limited impact. 

"This isn't going to be the major panacea," he said. "It's a large help but in terms of the volume, they are not going to be able to carry that much. 

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"We do need a prioritisation of deliveries to filling stations - particularly the independent ones which are the neighbourhood retail sites - in London and the South East starting immediately." 

In Norfolk, there are still many forecourts without fuel and queues at those with supplies. 

In previous days - despite reassurances from the Government that the situation was easing - queues were still seen forming at fuel stations across the county. 

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The issue of fuel shortages has also been affecting business and tourism in Norfolk. 

Sanders Coaches, a Norfolk-based coach hire service, also released a statement on Friday announcing that services would be limited this weekend - due to being close to running out of fuel. 

Today, the company was not running its usual X6, 6A, 18 and 33A services and tomorrow [Sunday October 3] all services are cancelled. 

Speaking to this paper on Friday, James Knight, director of Norfolk Broads Direct in Wroxham, said they had also been experiencing people calling with concerns that they would not have enough fuel to travel to the boat hire company.

He said: “Where people have been really struggling to get fuel, we're lucky that in Wroxham we have a train station just up the road so we've been able we could offer the option for people to get the train and we would pick up their bags from the station." 

Mr Madderson added that rising world oil prices will also mean motorists should expect higher prices at the pumps when filling stations are resupplied. 

"Expect anything from 1, 2 or even 3p a litre increases at the pump. This is not profiteering. This is genuine wholesale price increases causes by global factors." 

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson has said the situation on filling station forecourts is "stabilising" after days of panic buying.

Speaking during a visit to Leeds General Infirmary, he said the Government was beginning to deploy military tanker drivers from Monday as it was important to take "all possible precautions".

"The situation is stabilising. You need to take all possible precautions but the supplies are getting in, they are getting to the forecourts and people just need to be going about their business in the normal way," he said.

The prime minister said they would keep the situation regarding temporary visas for lorry drivers under review.

However he said the haulage industry should not expect to rely on low-wage immigrant labour.

"Of course we keep everything under review but what we don't want to do is go back to a situation in which we basically allowed the road haulage industry to be sustained with a lot of low-wage immigration that meant that wages didn't go up and the quality of the job didn't go up," he said.

"The weird thing is now that people don't want to go into the road haulage industry, don't want to be lorry drivers, precisely because you have that mass immigration approach."

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