Lengthy queues continued to form outside gas stations across London on Wednesday morning, with signs on the orbital motorway around the capital warning that no fuel was available at some sites, Reuters has reported.
The government said earlier this week that fuel shortages across the country had started to stabilise, after a rush of panic-buying left fuel pumps dry across major cities.
But Reuters reporters saw lengthy queues outside gas stations from 6am on the busy M25 motorway circling London and at sites in north London
Quelling Public Fears
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought on Wednesday to quell public fears as panic-buying left fuel pumps dry across major cities, saying the government was making preparations to ensure supply chains were ready for the run-up to Christmas.
Johnson said the situation at gas stations was improving, though in many regions, hundreds of forecourts remained closed and motorists spent hours hunting for fuel or sat snarled in queues waiting to fill their tanks.
"We now are starting to see the situation improve. We are hearing from industry that supplies are coming back onto the forecourt in the normal way and I would just really urge everybody to go about their business in the normal way," Johnson said in televised remarks.
Johnson's comments were his first since the fuel supply problems began at the end of last week when oil companies reported difficulty transporting petrol and diesel from refineries to filling stations.
'From Crisis To Crisis'
Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer accused him and the government of lurching from "crisis to crisis".
There have been growing calls for doctors, nurses and other essential workers to be given priority in filling their cars to keep hospitals and social care services running, but Johnson said it would be better if "we stabilise it in the normal way".
British troops will begin driving fuel tankers to filling stations later this week, Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing a defence source.
"A senior defence source says troops are set to start driving fuel lorries to petrol stations later this week after the Ministry of Defence approved an official request for assistance," Sky News tweeted.
News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.