Oil companies, including BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Texaco Inc. have all changed rules on filling up petrol amid fuel queues in the United Kingdom, imposing £30 purchase limit.
As people continue to panic buy fuel, the petrol companies issued statements urging people to stay calm and not panic buy fuel.
The EG Group, which runs around 400 fuel stops under the BP, Esso and Texaco brands, has imposed a limit of £30 per fill-up to ensure customers “have a fair chance to refuel.”
The PRA chairman Brian Madderson, who described the purchasing rate as “frenzied,” said that “the forecourt closures and depleted pumps were down to panic buying, pure and simple.”
The British Retail Consortium director, Andrew Opie, said that the truck driver shortage meant “we won’t be able to get all the products on to the shelves that we would have liked to.”
A Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said, “While there has always been and continues to be plenty of fuel at refineries and terminals, we are aware that there have been some issues with supply chains.
“This is why we will enact the protocol to ensure industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimized.”
TOS NEWS had reported last week Friday that to alleviate the acute labour shortage that has led to fuel rationing at some filling stations in Britain and warnings from retailers of significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said it was looking at temporary measures of visa issuance to address the shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers by Sunday.
It was reported that government said it would allow up to 5,000 foreign drivers into Britain on short-term visas, a measure that logistics companies and retailers have demanded for months but which the government had previously ruled out.
“We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time limited,” a spokeswoman for Johnson’s Downing Street office said in a statement.
The government has said there was no fuel shortage at refineries, and urged people not to panic buy.
“We have ample fuel stocks in this country and the public should be reassured there are no shortages.
“But like countries around the world we are suffering from a temporary COVID-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country,” the spokeswoman said.
The Road Haulage Association estimates the UK is short of about 100,000 HGV drivers if it is to meet demand. It blames the pandemic and Brexit for making existing shortages worse.