Fuel Shortage Crisis – 28/09/2021

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Over the past week, drivers across the UK have struggled to fill up their tanks with petrol or diesel as a shortage in drivers to supply fuel has led to panic buying. The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has reassured that the petrol crisis is easing, though 37% of petrol station reported being out of fuel.

The UK Government has has issued a suspension of competition law between oil firms, offered temporary visas to 5,000 foreign fuel tanker and food lorry drivers and sped up the process for getting a HGV river license.

The shortage began a couple of weeks ago when BP warned that it would temporarily have to close some of its petrol stations due to a lack of lorry drivers. This news led to panic buying across the UK which has further propelled the petrol shortage. It was reported by the PRA that after a surge in panic buying, two-thirds of outlets had run out of petrol and diesel.

It was reported a shortage of more than 100,000 HGV drivers has occurred for multiple reasons; after Brexit, many European drivers returned to their home countries  after additional border bureaucracy impacted their income Рthis is also paired with the amount of drivers returning to their home countries during the pandemic. It has also been reported that there has been a huge backlog in HGV driver tests due to COVID-19.

Petrol prices are at an 8-year high, with the average price being 135.19p a litre, up from 134.86p just a week ago. During this period, the price of diesel rose from 137.35p to 137.95p.

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