U.K. Still Seeing ‘Unprecedented’ Fuel Demand, Say Retailers
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. fuel stations continued to experience unusually high demand from motorists, one week into a bout of panic buying that caused chaos across the nations streets.
More than quarter of service stations operated by the Petroleum Retailers’ Association still had no fuel, showing no improvement from Wednesday despite government assurances that the crisis was easing.
“PRA members are reporting that while they are continuing to take further deliveries of fuel, this is running out quicker than usual due to unprecedented demand,” Gordon Balmer, the association’s executive director, said in a statement on Thursday. “We would urge drivers to maintain their buying habits and only fuel up as and when needed to ensure there is plenty of fuel to go around.”
After days of chaos, with long lines of desperate motorists blocking traffic and provoking fights at fuel pumps, the government has appeared to be getting a grip on the situation. At the height of the crisis, more than half the country’s petrol stations had run dry, leaving businesses and key workers unable to do their jobs.
While some drivers were still experiencing difficulties finding fuel, and long waits to purchase it, the country’s largest suppliers said on Wednesday that there are “signs that the situation at the pumps has begun to improve.”
The U.K. government has deployed its reserve tanker fleet to ease the crisis. Around 150 Army drivers will be used within “days” to help boost deliveries, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Wednesday.
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