Petrol Stations Close As Lorry Driver Shortage Effects Hit UK
A number of BP’s petrol stations across the UK have been forced to close amid a shortage of lorry drivers.
Petrol and diesel deliveries will be restricted in order to ensure supplies, with the oil giant’s head of UK retail Hanna Hofer describing the situation as ‘bad, very bad’. She also urged the government to understand the ‘urgency of the situation’.
Hofer explained that BP had ‘two-thirds of normal forecourt stock levels required for smooth operations’ and even this is ‘declining rapidly’, ITV News reports.
Its plans to restrict deliveries will see 80% of its regular service provided to 90% of its network, meaning pumps won’t be restocked for around one-and-a-half days a week. This means some stations may run out of fuel entirely, hence the need for closures to ensure supplies at those that remain open. Motorway service stations will be treated as a priority going forward.
The company said it hopes the fuel shortages will be temporary and levels will be restored by October. ‘We are experiencing fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites in the UK and unfortunately have therefore seen a handful of sites temporarily close due to a lack of both unleaded and diesel grades,’ BP said in a statement.
‘These have been caused by delays in the supply chain, which has been impacted by industry-wide driver shortages across the UK, and we are working hard to address this issue. We continue to work with our haulier supplier to minimise disruption and to ensure efficient and effective deliveries to serve our customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.’
The Road Haulage Association and Logistics UK have estimated a shortfall of between 75,000 and 100,000 HGV drivers, with fears rising ahead of the Christmas season.
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