UK readies soldiers to help ease gas shortages at pumpsTuesday, September 28, 2021
LONDON, England (AP) — The British Government put dozens of soldiers on standby yesterday to help easy fuel supply problems caused by a shortage of truck drivers, a situation that has spurred panic buying of gasoline across the country.
As unions called for emergency workers to be given priority for fuel supplies, the Government said it was placing British army tanker drivers in “a state of readiness in order to be deployed if required to deliver fuel to where it is needed most”.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said Britain had strong supplies of fuel. “However, we are aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority,” he said.
Long lines of vehicles have formed at many gas stations around Britain since Friday, causing spillover traffic jams on busy roads. Tempers have frayed as some drivers waited for hours.
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said Sunday that about two-thirds of its members had run out of fuel, as the truck driver shortage set off rounds of gas panic buying.
The Conservative Government blamed the problems on consumer behaviour.
“The only reason we don't have petrol on the forecourts is that people are buying petrol they don't need,” said Environment Secretary George Eustice.