UK puts army on standby to deliver fuel as service stations run dry

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After thousands of service stations dried up, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has announced a series of emergency measures to address the fuel crisis, including issuing temporary work visas for 5,500 foreign truck drivers and allowing suppliers to distribute fuel. To give up involves suspending competition law. to rival operators.

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The government said late Monday that British Army tanker drivers were “brought to a state of readiness” and could be used to deliver fuel where it is most needed.

UK Trade Secretary Quasi Quarteng said in a statement: “If necessary, deploy military personnel with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in local demand for fuel supplies.” The series will provide.”

Automobile Association (AA) appealed for calm on Friday bp (bp) For the second time in as many months, some of its stations were forced to temporarily close due to driver shortage. Yet many Britons paid little attention, flocking to service stations in hopes of securing fuel for the coming week.

The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent fuel suppliers, told the BBC that two-thirds of the 5,500 service stations operated by its members were out of fuel, with the rest “partially dry and soon running out.” Social media users have reported long lines at stations across the country, and some motorists on long journeys have been forced to abandon their cars after running out of fuel.

including companies ExxonMobil (XOM) And oysters (RDSA) A statement issued by the government on Sunday said they “wish to reassure the public that the issues that have arisen are due to temporary spikes in customer demand, not a national shortage of fuel.”

Labor shortages are a growing problem in the UK, with a record 1 million job vacancies. The shortage of truck drivers has been exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit, resulting in thousands of EU citizens leaving trucking jobs and other businesses in the United Kingdom.

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According to the Road Haulage Association, there is a shortage of approximately 100,000 truck drivers in the United Kingdom. Last month, the UK government said “most solutions” to the crisis would be industry driven, and it did not want to rely on workers from outside the country.

‘serious damage’

British Chambers of Commerce President Ruby McGregor-Smith said the government’s decision to grant 5,500 temporary visas to foreign truck drivers was inadequate, comparing it to “throwing a drop of water on the bonfire”.

“Without further action, we now face the real possibility of serious damage to our economic recovery, with growth as well as a less than happy Christmas for many businesses and their customers across the country,” she said in a statement. And less.”

Brian Maderson, president of the Petrol Retailers Association, said calling in the military alone would not be enough to solve the crisis because soldiers may not have the necessary training to refill storage tanks at service stations.

“It is not an absolute panacea,” he told BBC radio. “There is no one lever that is being pulled together by the government and industry that is going to solve this situation.”

BP said in a statement on Sunday it was seeing “intense demand” and that about 30% of its 1,200 sites across the UK had none of its main grades of fuel. The company said it was “working to resupply as quickly as possible.”

Shell on Monday welcomed the government’s action, saying it is “seeing higher-than-normal demand across our network, resulting in some running low grades at some sites. We are filling these quickly, usually 24 hours a day.” Within hours.”

Sainsbury’s (jsnsf), which operates service stations in some of its supermarkets, said, “We are facing high demand for fuel. We are working closely with our supplier to maintain supply and get fuel to all of our sites.” continues.”
supermarket chain Morrisons and Tesco (TSCDF) He added that they are also working hard to maintain the supply to the customers.

— Anna Koban, Chris Liakos and Hanna Ziadi contributed reporting.


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