The fuel crisis in the UK has heightened scenes of tension among drivers waiting in long queues at petrol stations for fuel amid growing shortages. This Tuesday saw lines of cars waiting their turn at dozens of filling stations and a new video emerged on social media of two men engaged in a fight at a Shell gas station in London sparked by the turn waiting.
“What the hell are you doing?” a woman said to one of the men who were engaging in a fist fight. “He stole my seat,” he replied. In another image, a man with a knife can be seen shouting at a driver at a service station in Welling, southeast of the capital. In the video, a car can be seen crashing into the knife-wielding man.
English drivers fighting for petrol in london city. pic.twitter.com/pMt5ylGVhc
— PTI Tehsil Kotli AJK (@UkKashmiri) September 26, 2021
There have also been scenes of high nervousness among drivers as a tanker arrives at a petrol station. Some gas stations have set a limit of 30 pounds of fuel per driver. However, PRA employers’ president Brian Madderson said this rationing measure carries the risk of users confronting service personnel. “As soon as a tanker arrives at a petrol station, there are people reporting on social media that more fuel has arrived and many others flock like bees to a pot of honey,” Madderson told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
Amid the chaos and panic buying of gasoline, Mike Granatt, former head of the UK’s civil contingencies secretariat, called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to appear before the public to reassure the public about the fuel crisis, as Tony Blair did in 2000. “It’s called leadership. And we need leaders. Someone needs to stand up and tell people this instead of hiding,” he complained. Tobias Ellwood, chairman of Parliament’s Defense Committee, has said the military must mobilize, not just stand by, to “regain public confidence” and stop the fuel crisis.
The government has taken another view of the crisis. British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said Tuesday that the first “tentative signs” are emerging that the current pressure on petrol stations is beginning to ease towards “stabilization”. In statements broadcast by the BBC, Shapps assured that there is more fuel in service stations than in previous days but acknowledged that this will not have an immediate impact on alleviating the long lines of vehicles waiting to fill up at the pumps.
Shapps insisted that “as industry representatives said yesterday, the sooner we can all get back to our normal buying habits, the sooner this situation will return to normal”. The state of unease experienced over the past few days prompted the British government last night to order Army tanker drivers to be ready to intervene if required to deliver fuel to petrol stations in the face of the UK’s shortage of drivers.
The military drivers, who will be trained as a matter of urgency, will transport gasoline “where it is most needed and to give greater assurance that fuel supply remains robust,” the Executive said in a statement.
Hundreds of petrol stations have had to impose a £30 limit on fuel due to the HGV driver shortage causing issues for fuel supplies across the UK.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 25, 2021
BMA board deputy chairman David Wrigley told Times Radio on Monday that industry workers “are getting in the car today nervous, looking at the gas meter and wondering if they will have enough to get through their working day.” “We can’t be waiting two or three hours in a queue to fill up when we have patients waiting, so we are calling on the Government to take action today, to put a plan in place and tell us what is happening,” he warned.
The Government has approved an extension in the expiration period for dangerous goods drivers’ licenses – authorized to transport gasoline – that extends until February 2022 the validity of permits that were set to expire between now and the end of the year.