In panic buying, many British gas stations run dry


British business and economic dynamics

After the British made panic purchases due to the lack of fuel supply due to lack of tanker drivers, at least half of British gas stations outside the highway network have run out of fuel.

Brian Madderson, president of the Trade Agency Gasoline Retailers Association, said a survey of members conducted on Sunday showed that 50% to 85% of all independent gas stations are now dry, highway front yards and some Except for supermarket sites that give priority to oil. company.

Madsen said that last week there was a “management problem” in a small number of retail websites that was a local shortage. Rise rapidly After media reports that supply problems triggered panic buying by motorists, some members stated that Saturday’s surge in demand was “500% above normal”, quickly depleting fuel tanks in the front yard.

There are approximately 8,000 gas stations in the UK, most of which are operated by independent retailers, some of which use the branded franchise rights of major oil companies.

Madsen told the Financial Times that although the short-term problem is “panic buying”, the root cause is “the government’s drag on the number of ground transportation drivers.”

Ministers succumbed to commercial pressure on Saturday and announced that they would release Temporary visa 5,000 foreign heavy truck drivers to help solve the major labor shortage in the logistics industry.

After panic buying, the government took action BP says Last week, due to a shortage of tanker truck drivers, as many as 100 service stations were interrupted and several front yards were closed.

On Sunday, British Transport Secretary Grant Sharps urged people to stay “sane” and said that Britain’s six oil refineries and 47 storage facilities have sufficient fuel.

He told Sky News: “The most important thing is that people will actually continue to work as usual and fill up their cars under normal conditions so that there will be no long queues and no shortage of gas stations. .”

But the government’s call for the public to exercise restraint is not enough to stop motorists from flocking to gas stations because they have been warned that due to the lack of HGV drivers, oil companies may need to restrict deliveries.

You can see long queues at many service stations on weekends. BP operates one of the UK’s largest fuel networks, which includes many highway stations, and the company said on Sunday that it estimates that 30% of its branded service stations “currently do not have any major grade of fuel.”

BP and Royal Dutch Shell also operate a large fuel network, and both said they are making every effort to replenish supplies.

But industry insiders say that energy companies can do nothing when they face panic buying and can only wait for it to disappear.

Shell said it is running out of sites “rapidly, usually within 24 hours.”

BP said: “We will continue to work with our transportation provider Hoyer to optimize fuel distribution and minimize disruption.”

The dry up gas station has increased the pressure on the government, and the government is also working hard to deal with it Energy suppliers fail With the soaring wholesale prices of natural gas and electricity.

Families are prepared to bear higher energy bills-this is one of several factors that triggered the warning Cost of living crisis This winter.

Madsen welcomed the government’s plan to relax visa requirements for foreign workers, but said that the biggest problem was with a branch of the Ministry of Transport and the Vehicle Licensing Bureau, where a large number of truck driver applicants wanted to start training.

“Resolving DVLA is a top priority,” Madsen said.

Industries that rely heavily on fuel supplies say that people are increasingly worried about what will happen in the coming days.

Steve Wright, chairman of the Chartered Private Car Rental Association, a trade organization, said he has asked the transportation department to grant emergency service status to licensed vehicles, which will give them priority access to fuel.

He added that the fuel shortage will have a “catastrophic impact” because privately rented vehicles are used to transport hospital patients and disabled students.

Additional reporting by Nic Fildes and Jim Pickard

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