Petrol station employees are facing "unacceptable" levels of abuse, according to industry leaders, as the UK continues to suffer the weight of the continuing fuel crisis, which has left ambulances stuck and is expected to endure another month.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said its latest poll of its members revealed that just over one-quarter of forecourts were dry, down from more than a third on Tuesday. Troops carrying tankers are likely to emerge on the highways in the next couple of days to help stabilize the situation.
Despite appeals for calm, fresh huge brawls over petrol have erupted across the United Kingdom. Accusations of queue jumping or taking too much petrol erupted in a brawl in Epping, Essex, yesterday, with one guy screaming "You didn't need it" before launching a series of punches and kicks, Daily Mail reported.
Two men spotted filling bucket with unleaded amid fuel crisis
In the midst of a fuel crisis and a scarcity of jerry cans, video emerged of two men filling a bucket lined with a black bin liner with unleaded - an extremely risky illegal move. The fuel would almost certainly dissolve the bag, and the bucket would very certainly melt.
An ambulance was even left stuck for four hours after breaking down, with recovery vehicles unable to reach it due to a lack of fuel, leaving a vulnerable patient unable to go to a North Wales hospital for an appointment.
The fuel crisis is also threatening to spill over into education, with several institutions on the verge of being unable to transport, feed, or educate their students. Online classes may have to be reinstated, according to school administrators.
School buses were canceled, blood supplies were halted, nurses slept on wards, and up to a third of London's black taxis were now parked with empty tanks as drivers lined through the night outside gas stations for the sixth day in a row.
UK struck worst with fuel shortage, jerry cans scarcity
Following a weekend of panic purchasing, the capital is thought to be one of the worst-affected locations, with more cars filling up per station - after hundreds of forecourts were converted into stores or housing complexes in recent years.
The AA's president, Edmund King, told Sky News that while the organization has experienced "minimal difficulties" in Scotland and Northern Ireland, London and the South East have been struck worst. " We've got instances of drivers dribbling in £1.72 ($2.31) worth of petrol and £2.05 ($2.76) worth of diesel, which is counter-productive since they would have spent those sums looking for fuel," he said.
According to The Daily Telegraph, gasoline is now being redirected from huge enterprises to garage forecourts, with executives at the UK's key fuel terminals being told to prioritize motorists above larger corporations.
Motorist groups applauded the strategy, which comes despite worries that the situation is still not under control. "I believe drivers would have an excellent idea," said AA fuel spokesperson Luke Bosdet.
And, as a result of labor and shipping issues, customers can now expect a "nightmare" Christmas with higher-priced presents and limited stock on shelves, with many families unable to acquire turkey in time for December 25, according to experts.