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The transport secretary declared petrol will continue to flow

Posted on Thursday, October 21st by Pallet2ship logo

The Government advised people to buy fuel as normal, despite supply issues that led to the closing of some stations.

Some BP stations and a small number of Esso-owned Tesco Alliance stations closed due to a lack of delivery drivers.

However, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, declared that the refineries had "plenty of petrol".

He told the BBC that the government could bring in the army to drive fuel tankers if it would help.

The UK is struggling with a shortfall of about 100,000 HGV drivers - the situation became worse due to the pandemic and Brexit.

Other industries such as food processing have been impacted. Britain's biggest baker Warburtons has confirmed that the company is facing challenges recruiting lorry drivers and that the shortage is causing some disruption to its supply chain.

The baker delivers to around 18,500 stores and says it currently can't deliver to a number of them. "The national driver shortage continues to place a strain on the Warburtons distribution network but we are working incredibly hard to maintain a good level of service for our customers nationwide."

Recent reports have suggested that the government is considering getting soldiers to drive fuel tankers under emergency plans.

When questioned about this on BBC Breakfast, Mr. Shapps said: "If it can actually help, we will bring them in."

However, he said there would be "technicalities" as to whether military personnel could switch to driving civilian vehicles.

The AA said that most of the UK's forecourts were working as they should. "There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems," said AA president Edmund King.

"Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts, as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week."

Mr. King said drivers should not fill up outside their normal routines, because even if the occasional petrol station was temporarily closed, others just down the road would be open.

"It is now clear that there have been occasional delays over recent weeks that have been managed with hardly anyone noticing. This was a manageable problem."

According to the Petrol Retailers Association, there are about 8,380 petrol stations in the UK. The ones closed at the moment represent about 1% of the total stations.

It is said that about 50 to 100 BP stations are affected by shortages, however, Esso said: "a small number" of its Tesco Alliance retail sites had been impacted.

Source: BBC

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