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Britain’s fuel crisis could hurt medical services and industry

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UK healthcare workers and transportation companies warned on Monday that the fuel crisis could cause significant disruption to critical services and industry as they demanded priority access to gasoline and diesel following panic buying.

The magnitude of the crisis was that most of Britain’s 8,000 gas stations ran out of fuel, so the government put troops on standby to assist in delivery.

Ministers said British Army tanker drivers would be deployed as needed to strengthen the supply chain and ensure that fuel was distributed where it was most needed.

The British Medical Association said the fuel crisis meant that medical staff who depended on cars were at risk of being separated from work, and taxi and courier companies said a serious shortage of gasoline and diesel caused serious confusion.

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the ruling party council of the British Medical Association, said healthcare professionals “whether this is to go to hospitals, clinics or other medical facilities, ambulances reach people in need of urgent care. “For whatever reason,” he said, he needed access to fuel.

He added, “There is a real risk that NHS staff will not be able to work when the pump is empty … Therefore, health care and key workers must be given priority access to fuel. Must be. “

Christina Macanea, general secretary of Unison, Britain’s largest public-sector trade union, calls on the government to use “emergency authority to specify fuel stations used only by key workers,” including medical staff, teachers and police. rice field.

David Brown, chair of the National Courier and Despatch Association, an industry group, said delivery companies have declined jobs and are telling workers to stay home due to lack of certainty in fuel supply.

“It was difficult,” he added. “It’s frustrating for people who make a living from driving.”

Liam Griffin, CEO of Addison Lee, who operates 4,000 cars for courier and taxi services in central London, said he was facing more and more “challenge.”

“Like all other operators in our industry, these challenges will become more important without swift and decisive action to tackle fuel shortages,” he added.

Aerial photos show customers lining up in the car to access Asda gas stations in eastern London © Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP via Getty Images

An industry group representing London’s black cabs and private cars is urging the government to issue an urgent order to designate gas stations exclusively for “essential users.”

Government is under increasing pressure Get a grip Driver panic buying quickly depleted supplies in a crisis that began with a minor disruption in fuel supply caused by a shortage of heavy vehicle drivers.

On weekends the government Abandoned aspects of competition law We have worked together to allow energy companies to refill gas stations and relax visa restrictions for foreign HGV drivers.

Ministers met on Monday to examine the latest gas station data and then announced further steps to mitigate fuel supply chain disruptions.

Army tanker drivers receive special training to supply fuel, but the government has not yet decided whether to deploy them.

Executive Secretary Kwasi Quarten said Britain continues to maintain a “strong fuel supply.” “If necessary, the placement of military personnel provides additional capacity to the supply chain as a temporary measure to help relieve the pressure caused by the surge in local demand for fuel,” he adds. I did.

Brian Madderson, chair of the Petrol Retailers Association, an industry group, said 50-90% of independent sites were fuel-free and replenished sites were quickly flooded with long-line drivers.

“We still see hoarding faster than deliveries come in,” he added.

British cities and other densely populated areas were hit hardest, according to Maderson.

A government-coordinated joint statement on the fuel industry expressed hope that the situation would improve later this week.

“We expect demand to return to normal levels in the next few days as many cars now hold more fuel than usual,” said BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other fuel distributors. The statement of the company such as said.

However, one industry insider said Lack of HGV drivers The risk of continued fuel hoarding by drivers has been resolved.

A consultant with extensive experience in the petrol retail industry said that unlike the 2000 fuel protest, when truck drivers regained distribution as soon as they closed the refinery, this time there was a fundamental labor market problem. Said there was.

“But depending on how realistic the driver shortage problem is, this can last longer than usual,” he added.

Additional reports by Daniel Thomas, Laura Hughes and Sarah Neville

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Britain’s fuel crisis could hurt medical services and industry

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