Leeds taxi company boss speaks out as fuel crisis forces drivers off the road


Leeds taxi companies say they could be forced to stop working if the fuel crisis continues.

Roadrunners and Speedline are two taxi services in the city that have been badly affected as drivers are unable to stock up on fuel.

Some drivers were unable to get to work because they were trying to save fuel for personal use and after hours of waiting for fuel and panicking shopping some drivers were unable to get of fuel for the job without waiting for hours.

For the latest updates on the fuel crisis, click here.

Mohammed of Speedline said the company may have to shut down “until further notice” due to a lack of drivers if things don’t change by this weekend.

He added that the average wait time for a taxi has dropped from 15 minutes to almost an hour due to the fuel crisis.

“We have pilots who are not working,” he said.

“Some already had full tanks, but basically we’re riding with half the fleet at the moment. We have customers who wait an hour on average, the demand for taxis is there but there are no drivers. There is nothing we can do.

“Normally our wait time is 15 minutes but since the fuel crisis the average has dropped to around 50 minutes for a taxi.

“We have stopped making long journeys, no driver is willing to leave the local area (in case they run out of gas).

“We don’t know what we’re going to do. We have the same problem everywhere. There’s not much you can do, there’s no point doing the work when you can’t provide the service.

“Hopefully this will be sorted out by the end of the week. We will basically have to shut down the service until further notice. We run on fuel, we have nothing to do.

“The drivers save fuel, a lot of people have kids going to school, they try to save the fuel for personal use.

“Touch wood, they sort it on weekends. “

The Burmatofts-based company is hoping things will improve in the coming days, Mohammed added that a handful of drivers who live locally have had to help elderly customers, especially those with limited mobility, who have used the service for years. to do their shopping.

An official for Roadrunners, located in Cross Gates, said that since September 25, some drivers have had to “pull off the road” due to the situation.

When a driver arrives at a station that has had a delivery, some drivers could not reload because everything is gone by the time they get there, they added.

They said, “We have problems, sometimes the drivers can’t find gas. They wait in long lines, it has a ripple effect. Some wait two hours (for fuel).

“We find it a bit difficult but we are very hopeful (things will change).”

On Saturday, Roadrunners posted on its social media: “We just want to let our customers know that our services are currently affected by the ‘fuel situation’ we are in right now.

“Our drivers have to get off the road, being prevented from getting to work because they cannot get the fuel they need or are driving around several stations to refuel, as people needlessly panic buying fuel at stations.

“We will continue to serve our community as much as possible, but please be indulgent with us.”

Yesterday (Tuesday) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the situation at petrol station forecourts was “stabilizing” as he urged motorists to go about their business as usual.

He said, “We are now starting to see the situation improve, we are hearing from the industry that the supply is coming back to the forecourt in the normal way.

“And I would really like to urge everyone to go about their business normally and refuel the normal way when you really need it and you know things are going to start to improve.

“What we want to do is make sure we have all the preparations we need to make it through Christmas and beyond, not just in supplying gas stations, but in all parts of our chain. ‘supply.”

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