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hand pumping gasoline from red fuel pump nozzle SBI 300976108 - Business Express

Which UK regions have the worst fuel shortages?

The South East has the worst fuel shortages in the entire UK, with over half being unable to access fuel in the past fortnight

Fuel shortages in the South East are over sixty percent higher than average fuel shortages in the rest of the UK

The East of England has the UK’s second-worst fuel shortages, with 49 percent of residents being unable to buy fuel 

The South East has the worst fuel shortages in the entire UK, new research can reveal.

Three in five people in the South East were unable to purchase petrol for their vehicles over the last fortnight. In the South East, people’s inability to access fuel increased 1800 percent since the 19th September, the period in which the fuel crisis became a widespread phenomenon in the UK. In the East of England, nearly 50 percent of people were unable buy fuel in the past fortnight.

The research, conducted by online delivery experts Next Day Delivery, used new ONS data on goods shortages to analyse the percentage of people in the UK who were unable to access essential fuel between the 6th and 17th of October – the height of the fuel crisis in Britain.

On a nationwide level, over a third of people were unable to buy fuel in the past fortnight.

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In the South East, a quarter of residents said that when they went shopping for fuel and other necessities, the items were not available and they could not find a replacement. In the East of England, one in five said that items including fuel were not available, and they could not access a replacement.

The region with the third worst fuel shortage was the East Midlands, where 40 percent of people could not buy fuel in the past fortnight. In London, 35 percent of people could not access fuel – a 775 percent jump from the 19th September. The West Midlands was also one of the regions which experienced the worst fuel shortages, with 38 percent of people being unable to access fuel. The North West saw similar shortages, with nearly a third suffering from petrol shortages, and in Yorkshire and the Humberside, 29 percent were unable to buy fuel.

The region least affected by fuel shortages in the past fortnight was the North East, where 19 percent of residents were unable to access fuel in the last two weeks – almost half the national average for people unable to buy fuel (34%). Scotland had less difficulty accessing fuel than the rest of the nation, with 21 percent of residents unable to buy it in the past fortnight.

Experience of fuel shortages by UK region: 6th October – 17th October 2021

Region  % of people unable to access fuel 
South East 57%
East of England 49%
East Midlands 40%
West Midlands 38%
London 35%
North West 31%
Yorkshire and the Humberside 29%
Wales 24%
Scotland 21%
North East 19%

A spokesperson for Next Day Delivery, which conducted the research, said:

“Fuel is vital to so many of our operations, both on a nationwide level and within our own households – it’s how essential food and medicine is delivered across the supply chain, and it’s what literally keeps our lives in motion: from getting to school and work, to caring for loved ones and driving to medical appointments. With fuel shortages still prevalent in the country, it’s important to look at the experiences of families in the UK, and what they have dealt with in the past two weeks when trying to purchase fuel. Unless action is taken to improve HGV driver shortages, we may risk another shortage like this in the future”

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