UK fuel crisis dries out gas stations despite signs of recovery
London, Sep 28 (EFE).- The fuel crisis gripping the United Kingdom due to a shortage of drivers has led to long queues of drivers panic buying fuel, increasing prices and leaving many petrol stations’ pumps dry.
In a speech broadcasted on national TV, prime minister Boris Johnson assured Brits the crisis was improving and urged people to go about their business as usual.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps echoed the PM saying “tentative signs of stabilisation in forecourt storage which won’t be reflected in the queues as yet”.
The crisis hit after British oil company BP said Thursday last week that it had temporarily closed some service stations in the UK because of a lack of supply of both gasoline and diesel due to a shortage of truck drivers.
Since Brexit, there is a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, a scenario that has hit supply chains in most of the country’s industrial sectors, according to the British Road Haulage Association (RHA).
“I live outside of London, in Essex, so I’ve been trying to get fuel for work. I’ve probably got enough fuel for maybe two days, and then I’m going to be stuck outside of London, so no more work,” Hisham Khalifa told Efe, afraid he will run out of fuel and not be able to go to work.
“I’ve been to about five petrol stations today, the ones that have fuel, the queues are long and they’re just not worth my time, it’s crazy,” Jordan Sloane said.
Following a surge in fuel consumption and prices of gasoline reaching an eight-year high of 135.19 pence a liter (1.52 euros), the British government put military tank drivers on standby to deliver fuel if necessary.
The government also announced Sunday it would grant 5,000 temporary UK visas for truck drivers until Christmas eve and 5,500 to poultry workers after farmers and supermarket chains warned of a national shortage on supermarket shelves ahead of the Christmas season. EFE