(Image: Twitter/@ Paolo Alessandro)
A scarcity of lorry drivers has forced the closure of a large number of petrol stations in the United Kingdom, putting some of the country's most crucial supply networks at risk. Due to a scarcity of unleaded and diesel grades, British oil giants BP and ExxonMobil-owned Esso temporarily halted several of its petrol stations on Friday, blaming lorry driver shortages. Images and videos shared on the internet depicted the magnitude of the country's gasoline crisis.
The uproar began when BP, the British oil and gas firm, announced the closure of several of its petrol outlets across the country. However, the government quickly issued a statement urging people to "go on as usual," but the request went unheeded as people rushed to fill up tanks in their vehicles, according to Sputnik.
As the news spread, people began to fill jerry cans and anything else that can store fuel with petrol. It's worth noting that the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) declared an emergency on Sunday, September 26, when about 5,500 petrol bunks, or approximately 50 to 90% of total outlets, reported running out of diesel and petrol.
Pumps without fuel sparked panic buying in the United Kingdom, causing the British government to implement emergency procedures on Sunday. Meanwhile, on September 26, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng suspended the Competition Act 1998 to exempt the petroleum industry from competition, allowing suppliers to focus on filling vacant stations, the British press reported.
The situation also sparked a stir on social media, with some expressing concerns over the future of the United Kingdom. Others, meanwhile, looked for someone to blame for the problem, with many claiming that the chaos was caused by the motorists themselves.
Taking to Twitter one of the users wrote, "Nearest petrol station just ran out of petrol. Next nearest just shut by police as queue was a traffic hazard. Is this happening in other countries? Energy, fuel, food shortages, Christmas chaos. Etc etc. Still nothing to do with Brexit? We've gone stark staring mad [sic]." "Why do the government always make announcements and then say. Please don’t panic buy. JUST DON’T MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT! The British public in general pretty thick [sic],"
The UK's ruling government is now being accused of ignoring warnings about supply chain disruptions that were sent a few months ago, when the national road transport industry predicted that a shortage of 100,000 lorry drivers may affect statewide transportation.
This queue at a South London petrol station goes back over a mile causing gridlock. I walked for 20 minutes and didnot start at the end.— Paolo Alessandro 🏳️🌈 (@PaoloIskandar64) September 25, 2021
Ironically all their engines are running. pic.twitter.com/377Qtj5C69
Long queues at petrol stations and majority petrol stations has no fuel.— 𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐥 𝐊𝐡𝐚𝐧 (@KaliwalYam) September 25, 2021
Why is there no petrol left anywhere.
Can someone explain this? pic.twitter.com/9WubYTx9Ya
Nearest petrol station just ran out of petrol. Next nearest just shut by police as queue was a traffic hazard.— Alistair Barrie (@AlistairBarrie) September 24, 2021
Is this hapening in other countries?
Energy, fuel, food shortages, Christmas chaos. Etc etc.
Still nothing to do with Brexit?
We've gone stark staring mad.
Why do the government always make announcements and then say. Please don’t panic buy. JUST DON’T MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT! The British public in general pretty thick.— matthew (@matlondonbright) September 25, 2021