The largest petrol operators say that they expect demand to normalize in the coming days.
Petrol stations are struggling, streets are queuing and fuel rations are being offered – are we at the beginning of a protracted petrol crisis?
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents 65% of all UK forecourts, claims between 50 and 90% of the pumps are now dry among all its independent fuel retailers.
A maximum of £30 has been spent at some petrol pumps to help distribute the dwindling fuel supply to everyone.
but it’s still done Widespread complaints from emergency and social care workers That they don’t have enough petrol to get their jobs.
Reports of people who shop more than you fair share of petrol roaming around too.
Why is this happening now?
Oil giant BP last week warned the government that it would not be able to meet its delivery requirements at petrol stations due to a shortage of HGV drivers.
Petrol cannot be distributed across the country without these drivers.
Motorists then panicked and began stocking up on petrol after hearing these reports, meaning the UK’s low HGV driving force ran out of supplies before the pumps could be refilled.
It also meant that the problem BP had warned about intensified and led to the petrol shortages seen in the past few days.
Is there really a shortage?
No – currently UK refineries are full of fuel and petrol.
As oil giant ExxonMobil said, its refinery – the largest in the UK – is still operating and has a “strong supply” going to its distribution sites.
When will the crisis end?
The largest petrol operators, Motor Fuel Group, EG, Esso, BP, Shell, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison have issued a joint statement on supply issues.
Industry veterans reminded the public that the pressure was just a “temporary spurt in customer demand” and they expect petrol demand to return to normal levels in the coming days.
He said: “There is a lot of fuel in the UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are working closely with the government to ensure that fuel is made available at stations across the country.
“Since many cars now hold more fuel than usual, we expect demand to return to normal levels in the coming days, reducing pressure on the fuel station forecourt. We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as is. They usually do.”
Why is there a ‘lack of fuel’?
There is a global HGV driver shortage that has led suppliers to try to find a way to distribute all kinds of goods in stores.
Before the petrol panic, there was concern about empty supermarket shelves as chains could not deliver food to their shops on time.
The government has recently admitted that there is a problem in the past few months despite constant warnings from all kinds of industries.
Did Brexit Trigger the HGV Driver Shortage?
The UK’s exit from the EU has been widely blamed for the HGV driver shortage, as many workers have returned to Europe after Brexit and are therefore not able to fill the long list of vacancies.
The Road Haulage Association estimated in August that 14,000 EU drivers drove during the pandemic and only 500 returned.
While Brexit certainly exacerbated this problem for the UK, there is actually a global shortage of HGV drivers for many other reasons.
During the COVID pandemic, HGV testing sites were closed, meaning newcomers could not enter the industry.
The aging workforce, and long hours coupled with low wages, means it has become an unfavorable profession in the UK as well, and fewer young people are willing to enter the profession.
How long will the fuel shortage last?
Some petrol retailers expect levels to normalize in the “coming days”.
The £30 cap at petrol pumps is also expected to ease the crisis.
Competition laws have also been removed, which means petrol companies can share information with rivals to understand who needs petrol the most in the country.
How long will the HGV driver shortage last?
The government has been accused of not reacting quickly enough to the HGV driver shortage, as predictions can drag on for a long time.
Critics have slammed the three-month visa scheme introduced for foreign drivers because European drivers do not want to come to Britain after Brexit.
Logistics firms have also noted that it will take some time to work through the Covid backlog of those who wish to take a test.
HGV training also takes several months – meaning the problem may not be resolved soon, even if there is an influx of people wishing to work as HGV drivers.