Suffolk mum lost out on £1,000 in earnings due to petrol shortages
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/PA
A Suffolk mum could not make a hospital appointment and lost out on £1,000 in earnings due to the recent shortage of fuel at petrol stations.
Lucille Whiting, who lives in Kedington near Haverhill, was unable to drive 34 miles to a hospital appointment as she could not fill up her car with diesel.
The 39-year-old is a self-employed goldsmith at Sophia Alexander Jewellery and has had to cancel four work appointments in the last week.
Ms Whiting said: "I had a scan booked at my local hospital on Saturday, but that would have been 34 miles — I couldn’t get to that and get the kids to school this week.
"I’ve also had to cancel work appointments. I’m self-employed and visit clients on an ad hoc basis. That’s going to be extremely problematic in the coming weeks."
Ms Whiting specialises in making memorial jewellery. She explained her job requires her to “take fingerprints from people who are in the late stages of their conditions or go to funeral directors to see people who have passed”.
She added: "[I’ve cancelled four work appointments] in the last week, but I make high-ticket pieces so it’s potentially over £1,000 already.
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"Unfortunately, I’ve been ill on and off with Covid-related symptoms since April 2020 and one of my sons had problems with heart pain and his breathing for just over a year.
"It’s annihilated the best part of 18 months and I’m finally getting back on my feet work-wise so this is frustrating."
A number of petrol stations in Suffolk closed towards the end of September after motorists formed lengthy queues outside forecourts.
However, the government has insisted there are no petrol or diesel shortages - with the issue caused by a lack of lorry drivers to transport fuel to stations.
The military has started to deliver to forecourts in what has been described as a "marked improvement" in the situation by the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA, said it is "grateful" that the government has brought in military drivers but called for more action to address "the needs of disproportionately affected areas".