UK's gas stations are running dry due to trucker shortage

An industry group reported that thousands of British gas stations were empty Sunday as motorists tried to fill up in the midst of a disruption in supply due to a shortage truck drivers.

UK's gas stations are running dry due to trucker shortage

The Petrol Retailers Association represents nearly 5,500 independent outlets. It reported that about two-thirds had reported that they had run out of fuel.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the Association, stated that the shortages were caused by panic buying.

He told BBC that there is plenty of fuel in the country, but that it is not in the right place for motorists. It is still at the terminals and refineries.

Over the weekend, long lines of vehicles formed at many stations. Some drivers waited for hours while others waited. After a dispute broke out at a London gas station, police were called. A man was taken into police custody on suspicion of assault.

According to the haulage industry, the U.K. has a shortage of truckers. This is due to a combination of factors such as the coronavirus pandemic and an aging workforce, as well the exodus of foreign workers after Britain's Brexit exit from the European Union.

Many countries, including the United States, are also experiencing a shortage in truck drivers. This problem is especially evident in Britain, which has seen empty shelves at supermarkets and closed gas stations.

After weeks of pressure, the U.K. Conservative government announced that it would issue thousands of emergency visas for foreign truck drivers. This will help to prevent Christmas without turkey and toys for many British families. According to the government, it will issue truck drivers 5,000 visas for three months starting October and poultry workers 5,500 visas.

Although industry groups welcomed the new visa plan's introduction, the British Retail Consortium stated that it was too little and too late.

Ruby McGregor Smith, president of Confederation of British Industry said that the announcement was "the same as throwing a thimble of salt on a bonfire."

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