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Traffic volumes fall as fuel crisis continues in UK

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In a chaotic week where fights broke out at filling stations and people filled up old water bottles with petrol, British ministers have repeatedly said the crisis is easing, though they ordered soldiers on Wednesday to start driving fuel tankers.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents 65 percent of Britain’s 8,380 forecourts, said members reported on Thursday that 27 per cent of pumps were dry, 21 per cent had just one fuel type in stock and 52 per cent had enough petrol and diesel.

“This is running out quicker than usual due to unprecedented demand,” said PRA executive director Gordon Balmer.

“We are also continuing to hear of further instances of forecourt staff experiencing a high level of both verbal and physical abuse which is completely unacceptable.”

Reporters visited 10 petrol stations in London and surrounding areas on Thursday. Three were open. A line of dozens of drivers snaked back from one of the open stations with staff attempting to direct the queue. Transport Ministry data indicated that motor traffic had decreased by 6 percentage points on Monday from the previous week to the lowest volume on a non-holiday Monday since July 12. England ended Covid restrictions on July 19.

Car and light commercial vehicle traffic fell the most, the data showed, with heavy goods vehicle traffic down by 3 percentage points. – THE TELEGRAPH INDIA

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