AFP, Posted on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 11:43 pm
Le Royaume-Uni to demand lundi à son armée d’être ready to come in aide dans la crise des carburants en cours dans le pays, after a week-end orù les Britanniques inquiets se sont rués dans les stations-service, in laissant Beaucoup dry.
“A limited number of tanker truck drivers must be ready to intervene and deploy if necessary to stabilize the fuel supply,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement late at night.
The UK petrol shortage worsened further on Monday, still under the influence of “panic buying” from concerned motorists.
“I had to do five different gas stations” and “my tank is almost dry,” said Lisa Wood, a motorist who waited more than an hour at a gas station near the famous London Bridge in the heart of London.
And tell a driver who wants to pass in front of everyone: “Go back to the end of the line, you only have five minutes!”. Between honking and swearing, Lisa admits that it is “not very British” to get angry, but “when there is a crisis, you are not very + British + anymore”.
At another service station, east of London, a line of 50 cars stretched at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning, and customers had spent part of the night waiting.
Across the country, “out of gas” or “out of service” signs are multiplying near gas pumps, with about 30% of giant BP stations hit by fuel shortages.
Some British media have published videos of nervous drivers crashing near bombs for fear of breaking down or not being able to go to work.
If medical organizations sound the alarm about difficulties for caregivers traveling to see their patients, some schools are considering reverting to distance education if the problem persists.
– Run away –
According to the PRA, one of the fuel distributors associations, up to two-thirds of its members (5,500 independent sites out of a total of 8,000 stations in the country), ran out of fuel on Sunday, “the others almost dry.” But the association says it expects “a possible relaxation in demand and a normalization of stocks in the coming days.”
On Monday, representatives of the sector again wanted to reassure saying that there is “full of fuel in the British refineries”.
The situation is reminiscent of gasoline rationing during the energy crisis of the 1970s, or the blockade of refineries that paralyzed the country’s activity for weeks in the early 2000s.
The crisis began in the middle of last week after a confidential report from BP leaked to the government, describing the closure of several dozen service stations due to lack of fuel, as a PRA representative lamented.
Panic buying immediately took off across the country and most gas stations are now affected.
The shortage of gasoline or diesel is initially due to a lack of truckers to transport it from storage terminals to pumps.
The problem also affects the shelves of supermarkets, fast food restaurants, pubs, bicycle vendors, among others, who deplore delays in deliveries and the depletion of stocks of certain products.
– Provisional visas –
The truck driver shortage has been going on for several months due to the combined pandemic and Brexit, with Labor accusing Boris Johnson’s conservative government of ‘falling asleep at the wheel’ and failing to intervene sooner.
The lockdowns prompted some European drivers to return home, and tens of thousands more were unable to approve their heavy vehicle licenses because test centers were closed for months.
Brexit also complicates migration procedures where European workers previously circulated freely.
However, the government denies the impact of Brexit on the current crisis, saying that European countries are also facing a driver shortage, but the UK’s road transport federation makes it one of the main causes of the problem, according to a report. posted last month.
In search of solutions, London resolved on Saturday to amend its post-Brexit immigration policy and grant up to 10,500 three-month work visas to make up for the lack of truckers but also staff in key sectors of the economy such as poultry farms.
The British Poultry Council welcomes these measures, but hopes it is not “too late”.
BP, for its part, warns that it will take “time for the sector to strengthen deliveries and replenish stocks.”
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