- Sputnik International, 1920
UK Fuel Crisis
Fuel prices in the UK rose sharply in the end of the summer, creating a risk supply chain disruptions. The situation was aggravated by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, due to which the number of truck drivers, including fuel tankers, has decreased.

UK Petrol Crisis Sends Salaries of Lorry Drivers Through the Roof, Media Says

© REUTERS / PETER CZIBORRALorries are seen at an HGV parking, at Cobham services on the M25 motorway, Cobham, Britain, August 31, 2021
Lorries are seen at an HGV parking, at Cobham services on the M25 motorway, Cobham, Britain, August 31, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
The ongoing predicament was caused by a combination of factors – a decrease in the number of foreign workers following Brexit, delayed training and testing caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and systematic problems in the industry such as poor working conditions. The shortage of drivers then led to problems with fuel supply.
The UK petrol crisis has sent the salaries of drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) through the roof as demand continues to soar, local media has reported. According to the employment website Indeed, even a trainee driver with no experience can earn 24,000 pounds a year, with the figure rising to more than 30,000 pounds once they qualify.

Drivers with experience can expect salaries of 50,000 and 55,000 pounds a year plus a bonus scheme. According to The Times, the current shortage of HGV drivers has seen people from all walks of life – bankers, chefs, and shop workers – seek work in the industry. An increasing number of women have also recently chosen to become drivers, the outlet notes.

The development comes as the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said that there has been no improvement in petrol supplies, with some 26 percent of filling stations across the United Kingdom being dry. Just 47 percent of stations have both petrol and diesel, said Gordon Balmer, PRA's executive director.

Christmas in Jeopardy?

In a bid to deal with the crisis, the government of Boris Johnson has made an about-face on its migration policy and introduced temporary visas for foreign workers, with reports saying that up to 10,000 drivers will soon begin working in the United Kingdom. However, industry players described the measure as "throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire" given the number of drivers the country is lacking.

"We have got a shortage of 100,000 drivers. When you think that everything we get in Britain comes on the back of a lorry, whether it's fuel or food or clothes or whatever it is, at some point, if there are no drivers to drive those trucks, the trucks aren't moving and we're not getting our stuff", said Ron McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the Road Haulage Association.

The petrol crisis has already affected other industries, causing the disruption of food supplies to supermarkets and fast food restaurants. Retailers warned that the authorities have less than two weeks to show progress on attempts to deal with the shortage of drivers otherwise there will be "significant disruption" during Christmas.

Minister of State for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse has suggested that the ongoing predicament could drag on for "a week or so". Yet, a government source told The Times that the crisis will last for "at least another month".
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