Rabu, 29 September 2021

UK crisis: Fuel chaos could last weeks -

British PM Boris Johnson has played down fears the UK’s fuel crisis will continue until Christmas as industry figures warn the worst isn’t over.

The UK’s petrol crisis could last for another month even if drivers stop panic buying now, with Boris Johnson hatching plans to save Christmas.

The Sun reports that industry chiefs said it will take weeks to restock fuel stations which have been virtually drained dry by days of mass panic from motorists.

Boris Johnson insisted the six-day crisis is now “stabilising” and played down fears that the hit to supply chains will affect Christmas.

He urged people to stop panic buying and start acting “in a normal way” again as he unveiled plans to boost the number of lorry drivers available.

Industry sources told The Times that the average amount of fuel in petrol stations has stabilised over recent days.

It now stands at around 20 per cent of capacity compared with normal levels of 43 per cent. Over the weekend it was feared to have plummeted to as low as 10 per cent.

But they warned major providers such as BP, which was the first to ration fuel, are still likely to face problems well into next month.

The number of forecourts missing one grade of fuel has more than halved from 1700 on Sunday to 800 now in signs the crisis is starting to ease.

The Petrol Retailers Association said 37 per cent of its members reported running out of fuel yesterday compared to 95 per cent at the weekend.

The PM insisted he is working hard to address the problems sparked by a shortage of heavy goods (HGV) drivers.

He blamed the panic buying crisis in part on a “slightly misleading” briefing about the lack of truckers that sparked an “understandable surge in public demand”.

“I would really urge everybody to go about their business in the normal way and fill up in the normal way when you really need it,” he said. “We’re now starting to see the situation improve. We’re hearing from the fuel industry that supplies are coming on to the forecourts in the usual way.

“We want to make sure we have all the preparations necessary to get through to Christmas and beyond, not just in supplying the petrol stations but in all parts of our economy,” Mr Johnson said. “You’re seeing the global economy sucking in a huge amount of demand for gas, for lorry drivers. We’ve got to make sure that we have everything in place.”

Mr Johnson has mobilised the army in case it’s needed to help relieve the pressure on petrol stations across the country.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission

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2021-09-29 14:13:44Z

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