The Strategist

The UK faces a gasoline shortage

09/27/2021 - 06:14

On 25 September, car queues, sometimes hours-long, for petrol formed in several parts of the UK. Some petrol stations have been forced to impose restrictions on fuel sales or close down altogether, Reuters reported.

Pictures and videos of motorists trying to fill jerry cans or getting into fights at petrol stations for space in queues have been circulating on the social media. Police have urged citizens to be sensible, not to fight, not to block the roadway with cars and not to siphon off all the petrol at petrol stations, as it may be needed by ambulances or fire brigades, for example.

Oil companies explained the situation by the fact that they did not have enough tanker drivers to take petrol from refineries to petrol stations. BP estimates that 10-15% of its 1,200 petrol stations in the country are short of fuel. The government responded to the public outcry, with Transport Minister Grant Shapps saying there were enough petrol and "no shortage in the country". The minister advised motorists to simply fill up as usual, as they have done so far, "and then there will be no queues and no shortage of petrol at petrol stations either".

According to Mr Shapps, the shortage of tanker drivers is due to the fact that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the standard procedure for qualifying drivers has been broken and new employees cannot take up their duties. But the government has promised to solve the problem in the coming days by issuing temporary visas to 5,000 foreign truck drivers.