- Title: 'Massive worry' for London taxi drivers grappling with fuel shortages
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 27, 2021) (REUTERS) PAUL KIRBY, A LONDON TAXI DRIVER GETTING INTO HIS VEHICLE LIGHT ON TOP OF TAXI KIRBY DRIVING OUT OF CAR PARK (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "Apart from the anxiety of not being able to work, on the back of 18 months of not knowing what's going on, where the next jobs coming from, we've just starting to get some work, and now we've been hit with this. It's massive. Friends of mine have not been able to come to work this morning because they're so low they can't risk coming out and running out. It's really, really worrying." (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "The last 24 hours has been three hours yesterday of driving around with limited fuel, trying to find some. I eventually did at the ninth attempt but I had to queue for nearly an hour and a half to get some, which means that I'm okay for the next day or so. But then it's going to be completely out of my hands. If I can't get anything then the cab's going to be parked up." TAXI DRIVING OUT ONTO STREET AND PULLING OVER LIGHT ON TAXI SWITCHING OFF (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "The loss of income is going to be 100 percent because if I can't drive my cab, I can't earn money. The knock on effect to that is the amount of people that I'm going to have to let down and inconvenience. I do regular school runs for special needs children, hospital runs. And I've been having to phone them this morning and say that later in the week they might have to make other arrangements because I may be unable to work." TAXI PARKED OUTSIDE 'TAXI HOUSE' DRIVERS ASSOCIATION 'THE LONDON TAXI COMPANY' EMBLEM ON FRONT OF CAR KIRBY SEEN IN SIDE MIRROR OF CAR (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "Probably 50 percent of my colleagues that I regularly keep in touch with are sitting at home today because they couldn't get fuel at the weekend and they just don't know when they're going to be able to come back to work. And that's a massive worry, not only for themselves, but for their families." TAXI PARKED OUTSIDE 'TAXI HOUSE' BUILDING 'TAXI HOUSE' SIGN ON BUILDING KIRBY'S FACE / KIRBY SEATED IN TAXI (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "People (essential workers, like healthcare sector) that need fuel, need fuel. There's a lot of people out there that don't need fuel and are taking it, and that's causing a knock on effect to the problem. But an essential users list is what's needed so that the garages can then prioritise. And we definitely need to be on that so that we can continue to do our job." (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON TAXI DRIVER, PAUL KIRBY, SAYING: "I witnessed two people yesterday in the queue in front of me that put in just over 10 pounds each. I mean, that is panic buying. You don't need an extra 10 pounds of fuel in a modern car. It's stopping other people from getting in and going about their business." KIRBY'S TAXI PARKED/ A SECOND TAXI DRIVING BY
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 17:37
- Keywords: London cabbies Paul Kirby fuel shortage petrol shortage taxi drivers trucker shortage
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: UK
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWHWEVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A London taxi driver said on Monday (September 27) access to fuel was a "massive worry" for him and his colleagues as fuel stations run dry across British cities.
A post-Brexit shortage of lorry drivers as the COVID-19 pandemic eases has sown chaos through British supply chains in everything from food to fuel, raising the spectre of disruptions and price rises in the runup to Christmas.
London taxi driver Paul Kirby, 56, said he was unsure whether he could work in a day's time, when he expects his fuel tank to run out.
"The loss of income is going to be 100 percent because if I can't drive my cab, I can't earn money," Kirby told Reuters.
Kirby, who has been a London taxi driver for 30 years, said he believed 50 percent of his colleagues were unable to work on Monday because they could not get fuel.
"They just don't know when they're going to be able to come back to work, and that's a massive worry, not only for themselves, but for their families," Kirby said.
Drivers queued for hours to fill their cars at petrol stations that were still selling fuel, albeit often rationed.
At other stations, pumps were either closed or had signs saying fuel was unavailable on Monday, Reuters reporters said.
In order to work on Monday, Kirby said he searched nine fuel stations over the weekend before finding one open, and queued for over an hour to fill up. He wants taxi drivers and other essential workers to be put on a prioritisation list for access to fuel.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent fuel retailers which now account for 65% of all UK forecourts, said members had reported that 50% to 90% of pumps were dry in some areas.
Fuel suppliers said they expected the situation to get back to normal soon.
(Production: Gerry Mey, Lucy Marks)
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