Fuel shortage in the UK has decreased, but the situation around London has worsened

(Bloomberg) – Actions to deploy a British army to deliver gasoline have only partially reassured motorists as the supply crisis in the UK continues for its second week.

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The Association of Gasoline Retailers, representing independent gas stations, said the country as a whole was seeing “noticeable improvement,” but conditions are still poor in many regions.

“In London and the southeast, and possibly some parts of east England, if things got worse,” PRA’s Brian Madderson told the BBC on Saturday. The next step, he said, will be a rise in gas station prices as world oil prices soar.

Overall, the association said a poll of 1,000 independent gas stations showed that 16% of gas stations were still dry, with another 16% only one grade of fuel available as of Saturday.

From Monday, military personnel will begin delivering fuel to gas stations across the country, the most decisive government intervention in an attempt to resolve the crisis gripping the country.

The government said nearly 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, would be deployed to distribute fuel.

He also stepped up measures announced just a week ago to attract foreign workers to the UK by allowing 300 truck drivers to arrive immediately and extending the emergency visa program for truck drivers until 2022 rather than Christmas Eve.

Madderson told the BBC that he had a “long conversation” with the government.

“We really need to prioritize supplies to filling stations, especially to independent ones,” he said. He added that conditions have improved in Scotland, the north of England and parts of the Midlands.

The decisions came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to reassure his supporters at the annual Conservative Party conference that his administration is in control.

The government said more fuel is now being delivered to the pumps than is being sold and reiterated that there is no shortage in the country.

(Updates with details from third paragraph)

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