Thousands of British gas stations ran dry Sunday, an industry group said, as motorists scrambled to fill up amid a supply disruption due to a shortage of truck drivers.
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said about two-thirds of its members were reporting that they had sold out their fuel, with the rest “partly dry and running out soon.” Association chairman Brian Madderson said the shortages were the result of “panic buying, pure and simple.” He told the BBC that “There is plenty of fuel in this country, but it is in the wrong place for the motorists,” He added, “It is still in the terminals and the refineries.”
Long lines of vehicles formed at many gas stations over the weekend, and tempers frayed as some drivers waited for hours. Police were called to one London gas station Sunday after a scuffle broke out. Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of assault.
The government said late on Monday that British Army tanker drivers had been “brought to a state of readiness” and could be used to deliver fuel where it is needed most.
“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localized demand for fuel,” UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement.
The Automobile Association (AA) appealed for calm on Friday after BP was forced to temporarily close some of its stations for the second time in as many months because of the driver shortage.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES
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