UK gas stations dry up as trucker shortage sparks hoarding – The Journal
Thousands of UK gas stations run dry, as motorists rush to refuel amid a supply disruption due to a shortage of truck drivers
LONDON (AP) – Thousands of UK gas stations ran dry on Sunday, an industry group said, as motorists rushed to refuel amid a supply disruption due to a shortage of drivers from truck.
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents nearly 5,500 independent outlets, said about two-thirds of its members say they have run out of fuel, the rest being “partly dry and soon depleted.”
Association president Brian Madderson said the shortages were the result of “outright panic buying.”
“There is a lot of fuel in this country, but it is not in the right place for motorists,” he told the BBC. “He’s still in the terminals and the refineries. “
Long lines of vehicles formed at many gas stations over the weekend and anger collapsed as some drivers waited for hours. Police were called to a London gas station on Sunday after a scuffle broke out. Police said a man was arrested for assault.
The road transport industry says the UK is short of tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers after Britain’s departure from the European Union last year.
Several countries, including the United States and Germany, are also experiencing a shortage of truck drivers. The problem has been particularly visible in Britain, where it has helped clear supermarket shelves and shut down gas pumps.
After weeks of mounting pressure, Britain’s Conservative government on Saturday announced it would issue thousands of emergency visas to foreign truck drivers to help prevent a Christmas without turkeys and toys for many British families. The government said it would issue 5,000 three-month visas for truck drivers from October, and another 5,500 for poultry workers.
Industry groups hailed the new visa plan, although the British Retail Consortium said it was “too little, too late”.
Ruby McGregor-Smith, president of the Confederation of British Industry, said the announcement was “the equivalent of throwing a dice of water on a bonfire”.