British army starts fuel deliveries to ease energy crisis
05 October 2021 | 6:39 am
It's the UK's worst fuel crisis in decades, with images of motorists forming long lines at fuel stations to secure scarce supplies damaging government credibility.
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The cost of gas and electricity has soared in countries across Europe, and prices are expected to continue climbing as temperatures fall in the coming months. A limited supply of natural gas and higher demand have pushed up prices for power companies, industry and consumers. James Waddell from research consultancy Energy Aspects tells FRANCE 24 how long the crisis is set to last, and how it might be resolved.
A lack of truck drivers has led to delivery bottlenecks and fuel rationing across the UK. Industry associations estimate Britain needs 100,000 more drivers to meet demand.
Officials said the move would make it easier for companies to share information and prioritise parts of the country most at need. It follows days of long queues at the pumps, after fears of disruption to the fuel supply sparked panic buying. But a minister said there were no plans to bring in the Army to drive tankers. The government has been considering using the Army, but Environment Secretary George Eustice said the shortage of drivers was "not a huge problem".
The disruption is one of the many repercussions the UK is currently facing due to a post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers. The government insists there is no fuel shortage.
The government has urged Britons to "go about their business in the normal way" and resume typical buying habits. The Transport Secretary said that means motorists should stop filling up old water bottles with fuel.
As gas stations across the UK ran dry after panic-buying, many claimed it was a consequence of Brexit and the exodus of EU truck drivers. This clearly didn't help, but the UK's problem of recruiting drivers goes deeper.
Petrol station customers tell their story as they queue for fuel in London. "We have to drive our children to school", says one, "the government should have anticipated a human response", says another. A lack of tanker drivers has triggered panic-buying at petrol stations, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call in the armed forces from Monday to deliver stocks.
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