The UK will grant 5,000 temporary visas to European truck drivers to deal with the fuel shortage. The Minister of Transport accuses an organization representing the road sector of being at the origin of this situation.
While thousands of service stations are dry, the British government announced on September 26 a series of emergency measures, including the issuance of 10,500 temporary work visas, including 5,000 reserved for European truck drivers. The government has also temporarily exempted the fuel distributor sector from competition rules so that they can deliver to the most affected areas as a priority.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, one of the fuel distributors associations, attributes the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK to the delay in driving tests due to the pandemic: “There are 40,000 pending applications heavy vehicle permits from the British, ”he lamented.
Images of long queues were posted on social media.
Staggering drone footage of the queue for fuel in Luton, filmed by ambulance service worker Lester Jay. He didn’t have enough petrol to get to work.
– Rob Setchell (@RobSetchell) September 27, 2021
A time mentioned by several media, the intervention of the army to supply the stations is, for the time being, not on the agenda. “We do not intend to bring in the army at this time, but we still have a civilian contingency section within the army which is always mobilized when needed,” George said on September 27. Eustice, the British Minister for Health.
UK Transport Minister accuses agency of causing shortage
The day before, the British Minister for Transport Grant Shapps had accused a body representing the road sector of having “triggered” fuel shortages in the United Kingdom.
“One of the organizations representing the carriers gave an irresponsible briefing (about potential shortages) which helped trigger the crisis,” he said on the continuous Sky news channel denouncing a “fabricated situation” by a gesture “very useless [et] counter productive”.
The minister did not name the body, but a government source told the Mail on Sunday that the Road Haulage Association was “fully responsible for this panic and chaos”.