Londoners among worst-hit by UK petrol and food shortages

A survey reports that 1-in-5 Londoners were unable to purchase essential food items in the past two weeks.

Running on empty: 20% of Londoners have experienced shortages at their supermarkets

The research, conducted by delivery management experts Urbantz, used data from the Office for National Statistics to analyse the percentage of people who were unable to access essential food in a period up to October 3.

The study found that 12 per cent of people in London bought less food than usual as a result of the shortages.

One in six Londoners reported that when they went food shopping, items they needed were not available and they could not find a replacement, while half of respondents said that there was less variety of food in the shops than usual. Another 1-in-6 London residents were also unable to purchase fuel in the last fortnight.

Statistics compiled by the ONS, for two weeks to Oct 3, 2021

The South East and the East of England were the regions that struggled most with fuel shortages. In the East of England, nearly a quarter of residents could not buy fuel, and in the South East, 22 per cent of people were unable to access it.

A combination of a national shortage of qualified HGV drivers, supply issues with Europe and some good, old-fashioned, stiff-upper-lip British panic-buying were blamed for petrol shortages and empty shelves in the supermarkets in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for Urbantz said: “It’s important to look at the experiences of families and what they have dealt with in the past two weeks when trying to shop for food, medicine and fuel.

“The impact of the driver shortage is felt across the entire supply chain, all the way through to the last mile – where consumers are faced with fewer choices at checkout and longer delays on their deliveries due to retailers’ struggles to keep their warehouses stocked.”

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