This week saw ever-growing queues at petrol stations across the country as fuel shortages turned into the worst crisis in the industry for more than 20 years.
In the last few days, it has been confirmed that the army will be put on standby in order to ease the crisis – with up to 150 military tanker drivers preparing to deliver fuel to filling stations across the country.
The crisis is being blamed on a number of factors including a mass shortage of HGV drivers – with reports estimating that the UK is short of more than 100,000 lorry drivers, with many high profile figures blaming it on the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Now even the transport secretary Grant Shapps has admitted that Brexit has been a factor in the crisis.
One region which has seen particularly large queues is Norwich and the surrounding area, with certain petrol stations such as East of England Co-ops even introducing priority filling hours for key workers.
One member of the public in Norwich was particularly angry and thinks people have been “absolutely ridiculous” for panic buying, blaming it on the media for causing the hysteria. She went on to say that she had friends going up to Scotland and it had “thrown their plans into confusion.”
Views are mixed however. Another member of the public saw a more positive side to the crisis, saying “I think if it gets more people to buy electric cars it’s a good thing” (although he did go on to express his concern for ambulances, lorry drivers and public transport and had spoken to a taxi driver who had said the crisis was “really killing his livelihood.”)
Although there are still major issues regarding fuel shortages, Gordon Balmer, PRA (Petrol Retail Association) Executive Director, has said “there are early signs that the crisis at pumps is ending”, before going on to say “only 37% of forecourts have reported being out of fuel today” compared to two-thirds on Sunday.
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