It’s no secret that the country has been facing quite the fuel crisis over the last week, with pumps running dry and queues outside petrol stations stretching for miles.
How did it all begin?
There has been a shortage of HGV drivers for a long time due to Brexit as well as delays in new drivers getting their licences due to Covid. The petrol industry is only one of many industries that has been hit hard. Fast food chains and supermarkets have also faced massive issues with meeting their demand, especially as the festive season draws closer. However, drivers that transport petrol require extra safety qualifications, meaning that they are even more difficult to come by at the moment. Last week, BP warned its customers that it would be forced to temporarily close some of its petrol stations across the country as they did not have enough lorry drivers to deliver fuel, which led to the mass ‘panic buying’ that we see now.
So surprisingly, we aren’t actually experiencing a nationwide fuel shortage. The experts have explained that the issue has mainly arisen from people ‘panic buying’ and using up additional reserves of fuel that they usually would not be using, which is why it doesn’t seem like there’s enough for the rest of us! On Sunday 26th September, over a quarter of UK petrol stations reported that they had completely run dry, with many others on the brink of running out as well.
What exactly is being done about it?
Many fuel stations have now placed a £35 cap on the amount of petrol that each member of the general public are allowed to purchase at any one time in order to hopefully curb the panic buyers. It seems to be helping so far, as the government believes that there are signs that the crisis is beginning to die down. The army has also lined up 300 people on standby as a precautionary measure to help deliver fuel should the need arise.
The government has also put in some new measures in order to ease some of the pressure, including:
- Offering 5000 temporary visas to foreign fuel tanker and food lorry drivers in the run up to the festive season
- Speeding up the process for getting an HGV licence, training 4000 drivers and sending letters to nearly one million inactive HGV drivers in attempts to encourage them to rejoin the industry
- Suspending competition law between oil companies, therefore making it more simple to share information on supplies, and get fuel to parts of the country that have the highest demands.
We urge you all to remain calm in what feels like a rather scary situation. Here at Love Yourself, we pride ourselves on the fact that 50% of our delivery fleet is now electric (thanks to our partners at Xeroe!). And, not to worry, the rest of our drivers have more than enough fuel to deliver our meals to your doorstep every evening as well.