Monday, October 18, 2021

UK motorists urged to halt panic buying as drivers unable to work amid fuel crisis

Ministers on Wednesday continued to urge motorists to return to normal refueling habits. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said fuel levels in the forecourt were stabilizing amid calls to prioritize essential workers.

A taxi trade body boss said at least a quarter of its members could not work on Tuesday, and a local council has asked petrol stations to prioritize essential workers after canceling school buses.

Motorists in the UK, particularly England, have been rushing to petrol stations since 23 September, when a chronic shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers left a handful of forecourts dry and media outlets reported a meeting on the leaked material. Was reported in which it was said that BP may have to ration its delivery.

Long queues have been seen across the country, leading to several clashes.

Portland Fuel’s managing director James Spencer told the BBC that “sales at the forecourt increased by 500 percent over the weekend.”

The government has been forced to take a series of emergency measures as panicked buyers evacuated pumps, including suspending parts of a competition law and putting military drivers on standby.

On Wednesday, Trade, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Quasi Quarteng announced that the government’s reserve tanker fleet would begin delivering fuel across Britain at noon.

“The trucks are driven by citizens and will provide additional logistics capability to the fuel industry,” Quarteng wrote on Twitter.

“We are now seeing signs that with more stations getting more fuel, the condition of the pumps has started to improve,” the business secretary said.

“The sooner we can all return to our normal shopping habits, the sooner things will return to normal,” he said, echoing the prime minister’s earlier comments.

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Johnson said ministers had heard from industry that supplies were beginning to forecourt “in the usual way”.

It was previously reported that some people, including medics, were unable to go to work because they did not receive fuel over the weekend.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on Wednesday that 25 to 30 percent of their members were unable to work on Tuesday.

McNamara called on the government to prioritize so-called “essential workers”, a request Johnson rejected, suggesting it was unnecessary to ease the situation.

However, there have been fresh calls for priority access as Buckinghamshire Council introduces its own priority system, according to The Telegraph.

The report said the council wrote to petrol stations, asking them to cater to some key staff, but the system only works when there is “goodwill” and when inventory is limited.

“Given that we have no real power, what happens when someone who has been in a queue for two or three hours suddenly sees someone pushing in front of me waving a letter saying: ‘Hey I stack the shelves. I am a key worker’?” Councilor Martin Tait, the leader of Buckinghamshire Council, was quoted as saying.

“It’s really difficult, so we’ve tried to limit it for the time being and we’ll see how it works before we consider expanding it.”

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Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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