A fuel crisis has caused pandemonium across Britain over the past week due to a surge in demand amid fears a driver shortage would hit the petrol and diesel supply. Government Ministers have maintained supplies of petrol are plentiful but this has not stopped Britons’ panic buying causes shortages across the country. The UK is estimated to be short of more than 100,000 lorry drivers which has caused issues not only in the fuel sector but also in other industries such as food and drink.
Mr Johnson urged motorists to conduct their business normally on Tuesday, saying “we now are starting to see the situation improve”.
He added: “What we’ve got is a global economy that is recovering from a once-in-a-century pandemic that has caused some particular shortages.”
The Prime Minister said the ongoing issues were a “function of global demand” and said the country is “meeting them”.
Mr Johnson added: “We have all sorts of plans to make sure that as we go forward into the new year we have everything necessary to correct our supply chains and keep things moving.”
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The NEPF lists 10 measures which would take effect in a bid to limit the impact of a fuel crisis on Britain.
Three of these initiatives have already been activated in response to the ongoing fuel shortage and ongoing supply chain issues due to lorry driver shortages.
The plan, first published in 2011 and updated in 2020, empowers the Government to designate certain filling stations for “emergency and critical service vehicles”.
This designation could also cover the private cars of key workers.
Under the plan, oil companies and fuel distributors could be instructed to prioritise key bulk delivers to emergency services, utilities, public transport and key supply chains such as health and food.
Crude oil and other imports could also be allocated by the Government to ensure they are given to the most important and in-need sectors.
The NEPF also outlines how supply would be maintained, despite the industry insisting this is not an issue right now.
The UK could release some of the emergency oil stocks it is obliged to hold according to the plan – a last resort measure only designed to be used “in the event of significant disruption to global supply”.
Restrictions on driver’s daily hours could be lifted as well.