United Kingdom: Fuel Scarcity Forces Petrol Stations to Shutdown
By Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman
Some of the UK’s largest petrol station operators have warned of a fuel scarcity on the forecourt, putting UK drivers at risk of severe disruption.
BP has already had to close a number of stations due to a shortage of HGV drivers, while ExxonMobil has indicated that a “limited number” of its Esso petrol forecourts have also been impacted.
The supply problems, which are thought to have affected dozens of gas stations, came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s leading gasoline logistics businesses, announced that it is struggling to meet deliveries for a number of clients, including BP, Esso, and Shell, due to driver shortages.
Hanna Hofer, BP’s head of UK retail, described the situation as “unprecedented.”
Reports say under emergency plans, BP will provide 80 per cent of its normal service levels to nine in 10 of its petrol stations, meaning that a range of locations will not be restocked for one and a half days each week.
Motorways will be prioritised and restocked as normal. Ms Hofer added that the next few weeks will be “really difficult”, but that fuel stocks should stabilise and start to rebuild at some point in October.
Labour’s Jim McMahon, the party’s shadow transport secretary, described the situation as a “rapidly worsening crisis” which the government had “failed to heed the warnings of for a decade”.
He said: “Sticking plaster solutions are not going to solve it. Ministers must take decisive steps now to tackle the 90,000-driver shortfall. If they fail to take action, the responsibility for every empty shelf, every vital medicine not delivered and every supplier not able to meet demand lies at the Conservatives’ door.”
When asked about the prospects of Britons “panic buying” fuel, a government spokesman said: “there is no shortage in fuel in the UK so people should continue to buy it as usual”.