Panic buying, rather than supply chain problems, is driving fuel shortages at some gas stations in the UK, the president of an auto association said amid ongoing reports of fuel queues on Saturday.
The police urged drivers to be âsensibleâ when refueling at gas stations after long queues had built up.
Lincolnshire Police said: âWe received reports this morning of long lines at some gas stations in the county. This is a potential hazard to vehicles making other journeys and can be difficult for emergency services trying to reach those in need.
âWhile we know that some people are particularly interested in refueling their vehicles this weekend, we respectfully ask drivers to be sensible when making decisions about queuing at a gas station. If it’s too long, you should come back at another time. “
Bedfordshire Police tweeted: âWe ask you to make sure you don’t block roads while queuing. It is important that emergency vehicles can pass through at any time. “
In Brockley, south London, drivers queued at an Esso petrol station on Saturday morning, while queues also formed at a Tesco petrol station in Bracknell, Berkshire, among others.
Edmund King, president of the AA, the Automobile Association, told BBC Breakfast that if drivers only stopped refueling when they needed it, the problem should pass in a few days, adding that âthere is ample fuel at the Quelle “and that a The shortage of truck drivers was only a” local problem “at the beginning of the week.
Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said it was “a shame” queues had to form before the government acted, but described the government’s expected U-turn after Brexit in terms of easing the government Visa regulations for foreign truck drivers described as “a great relief”.
Danker told BBC Breakfast, âHopefully it will happen and it’s a great relief. We have been calling for three months now, we could see this problem coming and more problems coming, so it’s a shame the government needed queues at pumps to move, but I hope they move and it will help.
On Friday evening it emerged that the UK retailer EG Group had introduced a fuel purchase limit of Â£ 30 per customer at its 389 gas stations due to “unprecedented” demand and supply challenges.
The limit for all fuel qualities is intended to ensure that the sites run “smoothly”, but does not apply to heavy-duty drivers or emergency vehicles.
A spokesman for the EG Group said: âThis is a company decision to ensure that all of our customers have a fair chance to refuel and to enable our sites to run smoothly. We ask everyone who visits our locations to treat our colleagues, supply chain partners and customers with respect during these very challenging times. All UK locations of the EG Group remain open and in operation to serve customers. “
Regarding the anticipated government announcement that a visa change would allow foreign truckers to return to the UK, King said, “We held talks with government ministers last night and talked to the big fuel companies and we can do it again.” there is no problem with the supply at the source.
“At the beginning of the week, as we know, there were some supply chain problems due to the lack of some truck drivers, but that was only a local problem.”
King said the shortage was exacerbated by “people going out and filling up when they really don’t need it.”
âWhen you think about it, 30 million cars out there when they all have half a tank [and] If everyone rushes out to fill the rest of the tank and the tank is about 60 liters, it will put a strain on the system, âhe said.
The problems are unlikely to be permanent as the supply chain is not interrupted by persistent issues such as industrial action.
“The good news is you can really only fill up once – you have to use up the fuel, so this should be a short-term thing,” he said. âIt’s not like the fuel crises in the past, being the supplier of strikes, etc.
“Once people have filled up, they won’t travel more than they normally travel, so this load on the system should ease over the next few days.”
However, the shortage of truck and truck drivers is an ongoing issue, King admitted. “The market is stretched so I think this is a broader issue that affects the supply chain, not just gasoline and diesel, but retail too.”
King said the government had cleared a number of driving tests for truck drivers in training, but said he had no details of any further measures planned.
Danker warned that in addition to the shortage of truck drivers, there were also labor shortages, supply chain and energy issues.
“I think what we need is the government that can handle these things in doing business with us and be ahead of them instead of leaving them behind,” he said.
Conservative MP and Brexiter Andrea Leadsom urged people on Twitter not to âoverboughtâ energy and said that shortages were the result of âstocksâ.