A nationwide shortage of HGV drivers - caused by compounding factors of Brexit, Covid and off-payroll rules - has led to a shortage of petrol, with
A nationwide shortage of HGV drivers – caused by compounding factors of Brexit, Covid and off-payroll rules – has led to a shortage of petrol, with some stations forced to close as pumps run dry. The shortage has, in turn, led to a huge influx of people desperate to fill their cars up, and this has led to massive queues across the UK’s traffic network.
If your need for petrol isn’t urgent, you’d be better off waiting a few days for the worst of the panic buying to end before filling up.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Monday that there is “no shortage of fuel” and people should be “sensible” and fill up only when they need to.
He said he was introducing a “big package” of measures, including temporary visas for lorry drivers, to help the situation.
Mr Shapps said there was “plenty of fuel” and that he had checked with the six refineries and 47 storage centres in the country.
However, the Petrol Retailers Association said that “between 50 and 90 percent” of its members’ forecourts are dry.
Sainsbury’s said it was experiencing “very high demand for fuel”, while Morrisons said it was a “rapidly moving situation” and it was working hard to keep its pumps open.
Asda said it had put a £30 limit on fuel transactions and said that it had good levels of fuel supply.
Mr Shapps blamed the Road Haulage Association (RHS) for triggering a “rush on petrol stations” after an “irresponsible briefing” to the press following a meeting with road haulage groups had sparked a reaction.
He said: “I’m doing some things we wouldn’t necessarily have wanted to do because we believe in fixing this market for the long term so the drivers are paid better, and we welcome that – we think it is a good idea for drivers to be paid more and for conditions to be better.”
Mr Shapps said there was not a “dramatic shortage in drivers” for the fuel industry with only “one, two, three hundred drivers” needed for distribution to petrol stations.
But the Government said on Saturday that up to 5,000 lorry drivers and 5,500 poultry workers could receive UK visas in the run up to Christmas.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the situation showed a “complete lack of planning” from the government.
He claimed the situation had been known about for years and said: “we knew in particular that when we exited the EU there would be a need for a back-up plan to deal with the situation.”