Government urges public not to panic buy amid fuel supply problems
Panic-buying is driving the petrol crisis, the president of the AA warned as he described supply problems as a “temporary blip”.
Edmund King said there was “plenty of fuel at source” but shortages at the pumps were exacerbated by “people going out and filling up when they really don’t need to”.
Long queues continued to form at forecourts across the UK on Saturday morning despite pleas from ministers. Police have urged motorists to be “sensible” and to only contact them in relation to criminal offences or large-scale disorder.
Some of the largest UK operators have already started to ration fuel, with EG Group setting a limit of £30 per customer at nearly 400 stations, while pumps at some BP, Esso, Tesco and Shell sites were closed.
The crisis was sparked by the shortage of HGV drivers and the government is now considering lifting its visa restrictions to attract 5,000 foreign workers in to the country. However government insiders have told The Independent it might already be too late to stop disruption to the Christmas holiday.
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Essex Police call for ‘calm’ at petrol stations
Essex Police says it received more than 100 calls over the last 24 hours from motorists stuck in traffic queuing for petrol.
The force added: “We know it’s frustrating but unless there’s a collision or a crime’s been committed, being stuck in traffic isn’t a reason to call us. We’d also urge people not abuse staff at petrol stations.”
Chief Superintendent Jenny Barnett said: “Thank you to the majority of you for buying fuel when you need it and being calm and considerate.”
Peter Stubley25 September 2021 13:25
Petrol crisis only a ‘temporary blip’, says AA president
Drivers rushing to fill up with petrol when they don’t need to are putting ‘strain on system’, the president of the AA has warned.
Edmund King said the initial supply problems in some areas – caused by a shortage of HGV drivers – was being made worse by panic buying.
However he predicted that it was just a “temporary blip” and that the crisis should ease within a few days.
Peter Stubley25 September 2021 13:15
Some petrol stations prioritising fuel for essential workers, AA boss suggests
Some petrol stations are prioritising key workers and delivery drivers, the president of the AA has said.
Edmund King told ITV News: “Some petrol stations are rationing the amount of fuel and only allowing £30 to be purchased and that means it does go further so that essential workers can get fuel.”
“We do know that some garages are giving priority to essential workers, some delivery vehicles, we’ve heard, have been given priority. So people are acting sensibly there,” he said.
Recalling that, “in the past, when we’ve had fuel blockades, priority was given to key workers”, he suggested: “We’re not really there yet, because supplies are getting through.”
Andy Gregory25 September 2021 13:07
A company providing palliative care has warned that its staff are struggling to get to patients’ homes due to fuel pressure, according to ITV’s UK editor.
Andy Gregory25 September 2021 13:03
Visa scheme likely to be ‘short-term solution’, reports suggest
With an announcement on a possible temporary visa scheme for HGV drivers expected over the weekend, Downing Street insiders have said it is to be a “short-term solution” to ease pressure on deliveries in the run-up to Christmas.
Up to 5,000 temporary visas could be granted for HGV drivers, The Financial Times and the Telegraph reported, while the former also said a similar number would be approved for food processing workers, especially in the poultry industry.
Andy Gregory25 September 2021 12:48
Graph: How has the number of HGV drivers fallen in the UK?
Our friends at Statista have created this graph from Office for National Statistics data, illustrating the increasing shortage of HGV drivers in recent years.
Andy Gregory25 September 2021 12:39
TUC chief: Shelves are empty, care home staff are overworked, and still our government has no plan
Writing for Independent Voices, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Frances O’Grady, argues:
“The staff shortages now biting across our economy have not come out of thin air. They are the result of wages and conditions being driven down in industries like food production and logistics for years.
“Too many HGV drivers, often outsourced or on agency contracts, are forced to sleep in their cabs on laybys – because their bosses won’t give them any payment for truck stops. Is it any wonder that some are refusing to return to the industry?
“If we want to build a more resilient labour market we must end this race to the bottom. That means giving trade unions greater access to workplaces to level up pay and employment standards. This is essential, not only for workers in food production and road haulage, but in vital sectors like social care too.”
Read more of her thinking here:
Andy Gregory25 September 2021 12:27
Police in Devon and Cornwall have also joined efforts to persuade drivers not to panic buy petrol.
The force said there was “no fuel shortage in either county” but warned that queues were causing congestion on some roads.
Peter Stubley25 September 2021 12:07
Police urge motorists to be ‘sensible’ about joining petrol queues
Lincolnshire Police has urged drivers to be “sensible” about joining petrol station queues in the region.
In a statement, the force said: “We have received reports this morning of long queues at some petrol stations in the county.
“This is a potential hazard for vehicles making other journeys, and may cause difficulties for emergency services trying to reach people in need.
“While we appreciate that some people may be particularly keen to fill up their vehicles this weekend, we would respectfully ask motorists to be sensible when making judgements about joining a queue at a petrol station.
“If it is too long, consider returning at a different time.”
Peter Stubley25 September 2021 11:31
The legend of Phil McCann
If you missed it earlier, here’s the reason why Phil McCann is trending on Twitter today.
The BBC reporter was sent to cover the fuel shortages at a petrol station in Stockport, but viewers were more interested in making jokes about his name.
Mr McCann took them in good humour, tweeting: “It’s like being back in Year 9!”
This is the amusing moment BBC Breakfast sent journalist Phil McCann to report on the current petrol crises, with many taking to social media to laugh at the wordplay associated with his name. The reporter was on the scene to discuss the current panic-buying at petrol stations which have prompted some of the largest UK operators to ration fuel.But viewers were amused with the journalist’s name considering many panic buyers were using cans to ‘phil’ up their cars with petrol.The reporter saw the funny side of the situation and posted to Twitter: “There are worse reasons to trend on Twitter…”.
Peter Stubley25 September 2021 11:21