Oxfordshire fuel crisis: shortages lead to ‘series of pressure’ on food deliveries and taxi drivers

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MOTORISTS are facing fuel shortages after many gas stations across the county reported running out of gasoline and diesel yesterday afternoon.

Lack of fuel across the county has made it difficult for nonprofits to deliver essential food packages and taxi drivers unable to work due to empty tanks.

Gas stations are struggling to get fuel deliveries due to a shortage of truck drivers across the country – this has led people to panic, causing supplies to run out sooner than expected.

Read here: Drivers are ‘part of’ traffic jam problem ‘, says Oxfordshire Highways Councilor

At 2 p.m. yesterday at least 12 service stations in Oxfordshire said they were “out of fuel”, diesel and petrol and that their pumps would be shut down.

The lack of fuel across the county has had a detrimental effect on some organizations.

Oxford Mutual Aid, a non-profit organization, delivers more than 400 food parcels per week by car to 400 households across the county.

Muireann Meehan Speed, Chairman of the Board of Oxford Mutual Aid, said: “There are almost 100 routes covered every week.

“The lack of fuel is straining us and we are really in trouble.

“Every day we have to make a lot of adjustments just to cover the basics.”

Taxi companies across the city are also suffering from the effects of dry gas stations.

Mohammed Niaz, director of Royal Cars, said: ‘At first you hear about these rumors and think it won’t happen in Oxford, but then you find out that they are sold out and that’s when that panic sets in.

“Some of our drivers have been caught off guard, so as a company we are currently trying to stay on top and let our drivers know if we see a station is open.

“In some cases, however, the drivers did not have fuel, which is causing big problems for them and our customers.

Read also: A heroic bus driver saves an escaped dog from the M40 expressway

Yesterday the company saw 10 drivers unable to work because they could not find fuel.

Saj Malik, Oxford City Councilor for Temple Cowley, is a taxi driver for Royal Cars.

He said: “Most taxi drivers are running around like headless chickens – it hasn’t been a good day and hope it improves soon.”

Food delivery drivers are also seeing a negative effect.

A Waitrose Banbury driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The fuel shortage means we have to wait longer to get fuel due to queues at petrol stations, which in turn results in delays in delivery.

“But from what I know all of our vans were able to get out.”

Read here: Updates on the fuel shortage in Oxfordshire

A resident of Didcot, who asked to remain anonymous, visited three gas stations before finding fuel.

She said: “The gas station staff are flawlessly polite, patient and well organized.

“I’m happy with the rationing that takes place as it keeps the inevitable queues moving.”


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