UK could deploy army to deliver fuel as drivers panic over buying petrol

A sign that reads “No Fuel Sorry” displayed at an Asda petrol station on September 26, 2021 in Cardiff, UK.

Matthew Horwood | fake images

Britain could bring in the army to deliver gasoline after a weekend of shopping panic that left gas stations across the country out of fuel.

Long lines of cars have been seen outside UK service stations in recent days as drivers tried to fill up their vehicles following media reports of an impending shortage.

A large lack of truck drivers has meant that deliveries of fuel and goods recently fell short in Britain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be considering using military personnel to deliver fuel to gas stations, according to British media reports.

Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Sunday that he had exempted the fuel industry from UK competition laws, which he said would allow companies to “share information and prioritize delivering fuel to the areas most in need.” .

Petrol pumps are out of use because drivers panic and buy fuel at a BP filling station in southeast London, UK, on ​​September 26, 2021.


Meanwhile, thousands of truck drivers granted temporary visas in the UK in the run-up to Christmas, in an attempt to limit supply disruption before the holiday period.

A UK government spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the situation when contacted by CNBC.

Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the UK Gasoline Retailers Association, told LBC News on Monday that temporary visas would ease supply constraints to some extent, but added that it was not enough. He said he hoped the government was actually considering measures such as conscription into the army.

“A lot of people have filled up over the weekend, a lot of people only fill up once a month,” he said. “That could give us some breathing space to start replenishing stocks in the next few days.”

It comes as the PRA told Sky News on Monday that some larger gasoline retailers were reporting that between 50% and 90% of their pumps in English cities were drying up.

Motorists queue for fuel at a Tesco garage in Lewisham on September 26, 2021 in London, England.

Chris J Ratcliffe | fake images

Oil giant BP said in a statement Friday that it had temporarily closed some of its service stations due to shortages of unleaded gasoline and diesel.

“These have been caused by some supply chain delays which have been affected by industry-wide driver shortages in the UK and a lot of action is being taken to address the problem,” said a spokesperson.

“We continue to work with our carrier provider to minimize any future disruptions and ensure efficient and effective deliveries to serve our customers. We are prioritizing deliveries to the sites with the highest demand and seeking to minimize the duration of stockouts.”

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