The British government has mobilized the military to combat the shortage of vehicle fuel that gripped the country at the end of September due to a shortage of fuel truck drivers. There is enough fuel in the country, but they do not have time to deliver it: many gas stations were empty, which led to panic, huge queues and an increase in the cost of gasoline and diesel. As a “reasonable precaution,” the authorities are ready to call on military drivers, British Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Industrial Strategy Quasi Quarteng said on Twitter.
According to the BBC, 75 military drivers are ready to connect to the delivery of fuel to gas stations at any time. Another 75 will join as needed, but before that they will have to go through five days of training. The authorities predict that this amount will be enough to improve the situation, but they admit that this is only a temporary measure.
In addition, the UK has extended the work visas of 5,000 foreign fuel and food truck drivers. They will be valid until the end of December.
According to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents 5.5 thousand out of eight thousand gas stations in the UK, about 37 percent of them were empty as of Tuesday evening. And this is a significant improvement compared to Sunday, when PRA reported fuel shortages at two-thirds of the stations.
The problem is observed not only with the drivers of fuel trucks: according to experts, more than 100 thousand truckers are missing in the United Kingdom. After Brexit, many of them left the UK due to the complicated visa process and the falling income. The coronavirus pandemic also has a negative impact, which also forced drivers to return home. Other factors include aging drivers themselves, harsh working conditions and unattractiveness.