- Title: British army to start driving tankers as queues for fuel continue
- Date: 29th September 2021
- Summary: HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 28, 2021) (REUTERS) FUEL TANKERS ENTERING BUNCEFIELD OIL DEPOT
- Embargoed: 13th October 2021 10:24
- Keywords: Kwasi Kwarteng army business minister fuel crisis fuel shortage petrol shortage
- Location: LONDON AND HEMEL HAMPSTEAD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON AND HEMEL HAMPSTEAD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: UK
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA005EWRWBBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:British soldiers will start driving tankers to replenish empty pumps, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Wednesday (September 29), as drivers queued again for fuel after days of shortages.
Britain has been gripped by a rush of panic-buying for almost a week that has left pumps dry across major cities, after oil companies warned they did not have enough tanker drivers to move petrol and diesel from refineries to filling stations.
Soldiers had been mobilised, and would be driving tankers within a few days, Kwarteng said, adding that situation had stabilised on Tuesday (September 28) as inflow of petrol was matched by sales.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sought to quell concerns, saying supplies were returning to normal while also urging people not to panic buy.
A shortage of around 100,000 drivers has sown chaos through supply chains and raised the spectre of empty shelves and price increases at Christmas.
Asked if he could guarantee that there would not be problems in the run-up to the busy retail period, Kwarteng said: "I'm not guaranteeing anything. All I'm saying is that, I think the situation is stabilising."
By the early morning rush hour there were already long queues of cars in and around London and on the busy M25 orbital motorway circling the capital.
Signs were up at some sites announcing no fuel was available.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent retailers who account for about two-thirds of all the 8,380 UK filling stations, said on Tuesday 37% its members' stations were out of fuel.
(Production: Lucy Marks)
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