More and more gas stations in parts of the UK are having to tell motorists to turn down, as they are not being refueled due to the severe shortage of drivers in the country. Britain’s transport minister urged Britain to act normally and stop hoarding.
It is estimated that dozens of the more than eight thousand British pumping stations were completely sold out and thus closed. There is a shortage of some fuels at other gas stations. The situation sparked panic reactions from motorists throughout the weekend, who ignored calls from the government to maintain calm. There were long queues of cars, because people wanted to stock up on some extra gasoline or diesel just to be sure.
At three out of ten filling stations of the oil and gas group BP, the most commonly used fuels have run out. “The majority of the 1,200 sites we supply in the UK are still open and stockpiled,” BP said in a statement. “But given the massive demand over the past two days, we estimate that 30 percent of the sites within this network do not contain the major fuels.”
Shell reported that demand at service stations in the UK has been higher than normal since Friday. At some gas stations, this means that stocks of certain types of fuel are dwindling rapidly. “We renew them quickly, usually within 24 hours.”
EG Group, the UK service station operator, has announced limits on the amount of fuel motorists can buy due to high demand. BP’s decision to close a number of pumping stations has exacerbated an already difficult situation in the UK energy market due to the sharp rise in gas prices, which has already caused the bankruptcy of many small gas suppliers.
ExxonMobil also says that a small number of the two hundred gas stations it operates for British supermarket group Tesco are affected by a shortage of drivers. Shell, which has about a thousand petrol stations in the UK, does not have to close any branch yet. The company does not notice the problems surrounding the shortage. A Shell spokesperson says Shell can still deal with the problems with good planning.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was no shortage of fuel. He says people can continue to buy fuel. He argues that the UK’s fuel distribution system is robust.
One of the Brits who struggled to refill their car is Adrienne Kenny of Cambridge, who has to drive to Leeds tomorrow for work. She says she tried three gas stations yesterday, but “couldn’t get the diesel”. Today six more gas stations passed in vain, forcing her to postpone her appointment for tomorrow.
British Minister Grant Shapps does not understand why the population is worried. “There is no shortage of fuel,” he stressed. He made inquiries in six refineries and 47 storage centers in the country. “The most important thing is for people to do what they always do and fill their tanks only when they have to. Then you won’t get any queues and there will be no shortage of pump.”
The shortage of heavy-duty truck drivers is “not new,” Shapps says. The transport concourse is accused of causing panic with reports of a shortage due to a shortage of drivers. “There was completely irresponsible information provided by one of the road transport organizations,” the minister told Sky News.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave in to his long-cherished company this weekend and promised thousands of visas to foreign truck drivers. He also promised 5,500 visas for guest workers in the poultry industry.
The British government will Issuance of 10,500 temporary work visas for truck drivers and poultry workers to address the country’s chronic staff shortage and get the fuel supply back on track, the government announced yesterday. Visas are issued for the period from October to the end of December.
Temporary visas can reduce problems, but the real solution will likely take more. In total, about 100,000 additional drivers will be required. To this end, it has already been announced that the British government will, among other things, double the capacity to conduct driving tests for truck drivers.
The decision to issue more work visas is a radical change for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His government tightened immigration rules after Brexit and wanted to make the country less dependent on foreign workers.
Other measures include sending nearly a million letters to truck drivers encouraging them to return to the industry.
Britain’s exit from the European Union
The huge shortage of drivers is partly due to Britain’s exit from the European Union. Tens of thousands of drivers previously returned to Europe due to Britain’s departure from the European Union. The Corona crisis has also halted the process of accepting new employees in the UK. The shortage of drivers also hinders the provision of supermarkets and restaurants, for example.
There is also a staff shortage in the food processing and agricultural industry. Many companies are victims of this situation. McDonald’s has already implemented milkshakes at all of its UK locations.
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