Several UK petrol stations close due to lack of truck drivers
Several petrol stations in Britain have closed as their ability to transport fuel from refineries was hit by an industry-wide shortage of truck drivers, which has also paralyzed some of the country’s vital supply chains.
British oil giant BP temporarily closed some of its 1,200 petrol stations in the UK on Thursday.
“We are experiencing some fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites in the UK and unfortunately have therefore seen a handful of sites temporarily close due to a lack of both unleaded and diesel grades,” the company said in a statement.
Long queues could be seen at some gas stations in London and Kent on Friday as motorists rushed in an attempt to fill up.
The driver shortage has also caused widespread disruption to Britain's food sector.
For months, supermarkets and farmers have raised the alarm, saying that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point, making it harder to get goods to the market.
There has been a supplier loss of 2 million households, as nine energy suppliers collapsed under the pressure of record gas prices.
Meanwhile, Britain’s retail industry warned the government on Friday that a significant disruption in food and energy supplies was inevitable ahead of Christmas unless the government could provide an ample number of truck drivers in the next 10 days.
Price increases in European natural gas, along with a post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers have left the UK facing high energy prices and a potential food supply crunch.
Now that the industry awakens the specter of a Christmas supply shortage, the government is working hard to get more people into truck driving, which has long been considered as a low-paid and underrated job.
According to the trucking industry, another 90,000 drivers are needed to meet the public demands, after Brexit made it harder for European workers to drive in Britain and the COVID-19 pandemic prevented new workers from qualifying.
Speaking to the LBC in late August, Tory Brexiteer Lord Wolfson said, “It strikes me as being insane that despite the fact that everyone knows that we desperately need drivers, the Home Office are still preventing people coming to this country to work as drivers.”