Gasoline shortage: customers keep buying in panic, says head of fuel distribution | Supply chain crisis

Customers are still buying gasoline in panic across the country and gas stations empty in a matter of hours, said the president of the Association of Gasoline Retailers, as a conservative deputy urged the military to begin deliveries to restore confidence. of the public.

PRA President Brian Madderson said members were concerned about putting a £ 30 cap on purchases due to the risk of people clashing with staff and said prioritizing key workers for fuel would be unfeasible. .

“As soon as a tanker truck arrives at a gas station, people on social media report that a tanker truck has arrived and then it’s like bees in a honey pot. They all go there and… in a few hours it comes out again, ”he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

Madderson said its members would not limit purchases. “It’s confrontational, we don’t want to put our staff at risk by confronting their clients, so that has some merits, but also a lot of demerits.”

He also said that did not tolerate speculation and asked members to think twice before raising their prices.

“The only thing we don’t tolerate is profiting from situations like this,” he said. “Most of our members, the independents, have a regular customer base and if they offend their customer base, they don’t deserve to have them when this crisis is over,” he said. “People have great memories and I would recommend anyone thinking of making a quick buck to think again because it just isn’t right.”

Issue 10 said army drivers would be ready to help deliver gasoline and diesel in the short term, but stopped before an immediate deployment, despite some essential workers they have not been able to do their job without fuel.

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the parliament’s select committee for the defense, has said that the army should mobilize, not just put on hold, to “regain the public’s trust” and stop panic buying.

“The country wants to see that the government is in command and has a clear plan across Whitehall,” he told Sky News. “We’ve gone from a 1% fuel pump shortage to 90%, so altering people’s buying behavior to avoid panic when buying and reverting to previous buying patterns requires regaining the confidence of the nation.

“I think the army shouldn’t just be on standby, it should actually mobilize, be used. That will help to ease the pressure on the shortage, of course, it will restore the public’s confidence, and furthermore, there is the most important issue of articulating a clear strategy to alleviate the chronic shortage of truck drivers. “

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the failure was due to government inaction, rather than blaming the public.

He called the HGV driver shortage a “catastrophic leadership failure” and said he had warned transportation secretary Grant Shapps of impending disaster.

“We find ourselves in this position due to a complete failure of the government to lead and plan for the future,” he said. “Myself and other colleagues in the shadow cabinet wrote to Grant Shapps in July highlighting these issues. We get very little attention from Grant Shapps, who wrote to us in the first week of August saying, in his own words, that he would not use foreign labor to solve this problem.

“Now, the government says it wants to train … and I am absolutely in favor of training heavy vehicle drivers, but it has not done it enough, nor has it made a very small concession until recently to be able to bring drivers. from abroad.

“So this is a catastrophic failure of leadership, it seems that we have ended up with the gasoline running out, the prime minister talking about bringing in the army. This is a crisis of the very creation of the government.”

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