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Gasoline shortage in UK due to ‘panic buying’

Gasoline shortage in UK due to ‘panic buying’

UK fuel raid. The chairman of the Association of British Petrol Stations (PRA) told the BBC that up to two-thirds of its members, which represent 5,500 independent sites out of a total of 8,000 recharging stations in the country, were running out fuel this Sunday and “the others almost dry.” Stations were mainly out of gasoline in urban areas of the country while Northern Ireland seemed so far spared from the problem, he detailed.

For him, gasoline shortages in the country are due to “outright panic buying”. “One of our members received a container at noon and by the end of the afternoon it was totally gone” in people’s cars, added Brian Madderson, a PRA official, attributing the panic effect to a “leak of a confidential BP report during a government meeting” which “aired on Wednesday”.

Lack of truck drivers

In recent days and despite calls from the government not to panic, gas stations have been taken by storm due to stockouts which also affect the shelves of agri-food products. Faced with worsening shortages, mainly due to a lack of truck drivers, London finally resolved on Saturday to amend its post-Brexit immigration policy and grant up to 10,500 temporary work visas.

These three-month permits, from October to December, should make up for a glaring shortage of truck drivers but also of staff in key sectors of the British economy, such as poultry farming.

The weapon called for reinforcement?

According to the British press, the government is studying the possibility of calling on the army to alleviate these shortages in the short term. The Minister of Business and Energy Kwasi Kwarteng, for his part, said on Sunday in a press release that he had temporarily exempted the fuel distributor sector from competition rules so that they could deliver priority areas to areas where they are. need it most.

A spokesperson for Royal Dutch Shell admitted that the oil giant “is seeing increased demand today at some gas stations, with longer queues. We are adapting our delivery schedules ”.

40,000 pending heavy vehicle license applications

Brian Madderson qualified the improvement that army drivers could bring: “It’s not as easy as you might think because truck drivers are very specialized” and tank trucks carry “a very flammable liquid to across the country ”which requires proper loading and unloading procedures.

On bringing back European drivers who returned to their countries with the pandemic and Brexit, Brian Madderson argued that there were also driver shortages in mainland Europe. He noted the problem of heavy vehicle driving license arrears which could not be passed during confinement: “there are 40,000 pending applications for heavy vehicle licenses from the British”. Brian Madderson was optimistic, however, saying he hoped the problem would be partially resolved “by the end of the week.”

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