Boris sends army to transport fuel to gas stations due to shortage of truck drivers
October 1, 2021, 22:00 | Updated: October 2, 2021, 12:07 AM
The military will begin delivering fuel to gas stations as panic buying leads to forecourt cleaning due to a shortage of truck drivers.
A little less than 200 soldiers – including 100 drivers – have completed their training and will deploy from Monday to restock the pumps.
The government is hoping this, along with other measures, will help the supply chain as motorists form huge queues on forecourts who have struggled with panic buying, as spirits shifted. frayed.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: âOver the weekend, more than 200 soldiers will have been mobilized as part of Operation Escalin.
“As the situation stabilizes, our armed forces are there to fill critical vacancies and help keep the country on the move by helping the industry deliver fuel to the forecourt.”
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The government stressed that the problem is not with lack of fuel – the shortages are rather due to a lack of drivers to transport it from refineries and terminals to gas stations.
He pointed out that if people don’t panic over buying and purchasing fuel as they usually would, levels will return to closer to normal, but those calls have fallen on deaf ears for many.
The gasoline retailers association said the situation was improving, but slowly, while the government said more fuel is now being delivered than it is purchased.
He said one in four stations had no fuel.
There are also fears about the longer-term impacts of the lack of truck drivers, including whether Christmas is going to see disruption.
The pandemic has exacerbated a global shortage of drivers, but in the UK there is a long-standing problem with the number of available heavy truck operators.
This has been blamed on an aging workforce, low wages and poor conditions in places designated for trucks to stop. Some estimates suggest that there is a shortage of about 90,000 drivers in the industry.
The government has said 300 fuel drivers will be able to arrive in the UK immediately, subject to immigration checks, and work until the end of March next year.
Temporary and short-term visas were also offered to 4,700 food transport truck drivers and 5,500 poultry workers.
The temporary visa regime for foreign heavy truck drivers was due to expire on Christmas Eve, but it has now been announced that its expiry date will be pushed back to the end of February after criticism over whether workers will be turned off by a so short term.
However, in a statement released on Friday, the government said visas would not be a long-term solution. He wants employers to invest in domestic labor instead of depending on foreign labor.
Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: âThe government has taken decisive action to address short-term disruptions to our supply chains, and in particular the flow of fuel to the forecourt.
“We are now seeing the impact of these interventions with more fuel delivered to the forecourt than sold and, if people continue to return to their normal buying habits, we will see smaller queues and prevent the closure of stations. -service.”