First it was Nando’s chicken, then McDonald’s milkshakes and Ikea mattresses. Now petrol stations have started rationing as the impact of the chronic lorry driver shortage widens. What is causing the crisis in petrol supplies and what are the solutions – and is there any reason to panic?
It is not lack of petrol but a lack of HGV drivers that is hitting supply chains across the country. The shortage is compounded by the need for a separate qualification needed to deliver hazardous substances.
The government is urging people not to panic-buy. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said people should “carry on as normal”.
But with echoes of last March’s lockdown stockpiling, people are ignoring the government. Long queues started building in some forecourt stations on Friday.
Three of the UK’s biggest operators of petrol states have warned of fuel shortages with BP, saying up to 100 of its stations were short of at least one grade of fuel and several forced to close entirely. However, this is a fraction of its 1,200 strong forecourt network. Esso owner Exxon Mobile said a “small number” of its Tesco forecourts had been affected.