Updated: Sep 28, 2021
The Mayor of London, licensed taxi representatives and private hire leaders have all lobbied the Government to ensure the sector is included on any emergency fuel register should the fuel crisis worsen.
On Sunday the UK temporarily suspended fuel industry competition laws in a bid to ease the fuel shortages caused by a lack of HGV drivers. That decision followed the Business Secretary meeting with senior executives from the fuel industry following recent supply chain issues at petrol forecourts in some areas of the UK.
However, shortages in some areas have continued into this week with some cab drivers reportedly forced off the road due to not being able to fill up on fuel despite trying multiple forecourts in the area.
The panic-buying of petrol and diesel prompted London’s black cab industry to request taxis remain on the emergency fuel supply register in the capital should the situation escalate further.
A Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) spokesperson said: “Over the weekend we have been in contact with City Hall, the Mayors team are very aware of the urgency of the situation and are lobbying Central Government to issue an emergency order to facilitate introduction of essential user only fuel stations.”
The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) also wrote to the UK Government to seek priority for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers for fuel. Steve Wright MBE LPHCA Chairman said in his message to government: "We urgently contact you with regard to the Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle industry’s very real concerns about fuel supply as a consequence of its need to maintain already seriously compromised service levels, post pandemic.
“You will be aware that we transport, educational, special needs and hospital passengers & staff 24 hours a day. This as well as delivering prescriptions and medical essentials such as blood in support to the NHS. We also deliver food and provide emergency cover when other modes are dormant often transporting passengers without their own vehicles or the ability to walk, cycle or use other modes to facilitate essential travel.
“Previously, when fuel supply problems were likely to descend into a serious level, I worked closely with DfT officials to secure priority status for the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle sector, which was forthcoming.
“I therefore appeal to government to make sure emergency provision of supply is made available to the Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle sector as soon as possible."
According to LPHCA sources, Senior officials from the DfT have confirmed today (Monday 27 September) that they will feed the LPHCA’s requirements for the industry into the Government’s strategy on fuel supply.