Petrol station forecourts closed in Islington amid warning: 'Drafting in the army will not end fuel crisis'
- Credit: Andre Langlois
Petrol station forecourts are closed across Islington amid a national fuel shortage, as the industry warns that drafting in the army will not resolve the crisis.
Boris Johnson is thought to be considering sending in troops to drive oil tankers after days of panic buying saw filling stations in many areas - including Shell in Upper Street and Holloway Road, and Esso in Archway Road - run dry.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) chairman Brian Madderson confirmed some training had been taking place “in the background” for military personnel.
But he warned it was not an “absolute panacea” and that there was no “single lever” the Government and the industry could pull to resolve the crisis.
With long queues at filling stations continuing over the weekend, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Sunday he was temporarily suspending competition laws to allow the industry to share information so it can target areas where fuel supply is running low.
You may also want to watch:
The move came after Mr Johnson said the Government was creating 5,000 three-month visas for foreign lorry drivers in an attempt to ease the pressure on hauliers which has been blamed over the problems.
A statement by Shell, ExxonMobile and other industry bodies again insisted there was no “national shortage of fuel” and that the pressures on supply were the result of “temporary spikes in customer demand”.
- 1 Islington Council caretaker charged with rape and aggravated burglary
- 2 Islington signs deal to secure homes for Afghan refugees
- 3 Run Kids Run: Huge fun run raises £40,000 for Islington primary schools
- 4 Helen Anderson: CCTV appeal to trace witnesses to Finsbury Park mum's murder
- 5 Stunning photos show how King's Cross has changed in 20 years
- 6 Five reasons why Dalston is one of the coolest places in the world
- 7 Jeremy Corbyn to hold ‘alternative Cop26’ in Scotland
- 8 Highbury church St Joan of Arc marks Covid-delayed centenary
- 9 E-scooter rider suffers head injuries in Holloway Road crash
- 10 Essex Road Sainsbury's closed for deep cleaning after rats filmed crawling over croissants
But with no immediate sign of the problem easing, Mr Johnson is reported to be holding a series of meetings to consider whether to activate the military for Operation Escalin.
However, Mr Madderson said it was not just a question of moving supplies to the filling stations as drivers had to load up their tanks at the gantry at the terminal, which was a skilled job.
The panic buying spree was sparked last week after concerns from BP were leaked that the shortage of lorry drivers could impact upon its ability to keep up with fuel deliveries.
The surge in demand led the PRA to warn that as many as two thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets were out of fuel on Sunday, with the rest of them “partly dry and running out soon”.
For Labour, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the haulage industry had been warning for months about the shortage of drivers, but ministers had simply ignored them.