Pressure continues to mount on the UK government to bring the fuel supply issues across the country to an end.
With plans to bring the army in and use emergency fuel tankers, businesses and the general public alike are looking for an indication of when the shortages will be a thing of the past.
Updates from politicians and industry representatives indicate that this could be soon.
Here are the latest updates on the fuel shortage and when we might expect to see it end.
When is the fuel shortage expected to end?
The latest news on the fuel shortage is that there are signs that the pressure is beginning to lift.
According to the Petrol Retailers Association, representing nearly 5,500 of the UK’s 8,000 petrol stations, only 37 per cent of its members reported being out of fuel on Tuesday, down from two-thirds at the end of last weekend.
However, he refrained from guaranteeing that the supply problems related to HGV driver shortages would be fully resolved before Christmas, as concerns were raised about supermarket stocks in the build-up to the festive season.
What is the UK government doing about the fuel shortage?
Mr Kwarteng announced that 150 military drivers are soon to be “on the road” to help deliver fuel to petrol stations that are still without supplies.
There are also plans to draw on the 80 tankers of fuel that the government keeps for emergencies.
As well as making the offer of 5,000 temporary visas to EU HGV drivers, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has suggested that the government could offer lorry driving roles to asylum seekers and those assigned to community service across the UK.
“We’ve been getting prisoners and offenders to do volunteering and unpaid work,” Mr Raab told The Spectator in an interview. “Why not if there are shortages encourage them to do paid work where there’s a benefit for the economy, benefit for society? If you give people skin in the game, give them something to lose, if you give them some hope, they’re much less likely to re-offend.”
What caused the fuel shortage?
Technically, there is no fuel shortage, but rather an HGV driver shortage across the UK.
A combination of Brexit, the pandemic, and working condition issues for lorry drivers has meant that there is a deficit of 100,000 HGV drivers.
As a result, fuel supplies cannot get to where they need to go, leaving many petrol stations low on stock.
Filling stations introduced petrol caps to control purchases and many consumers were left queuing to fuel their cars.
It also affected the health sector, with NHS emergency vehicles being unable to reach people who needed help due to lack of fuel.
With the backlog of medical cases already high due to the pandemic, the NHS cannot afford to be put under much more strain.