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 – this 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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