THE GOVERNMENT is reportedly poised to grant 10,000 temporary foreign worker visas to help ease the HGV driver shortage and fuel crisis.

BP and Tesco are among those who have been forced to close petrol stations because of a shortage of lorry drivers are preventing supplies getting to forecourts, rather than a shortage of fuel itself.

No 10 insisted on Friday night that any measures introduced would be "very strictly time-limited" amid reports that Boris Johnson had allowed ministers to relax UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers into the country.

And although Downing Street would not confirm whether any decisions had been made, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier promised to "move heaven and earth" to get the situation solved.

Read our energy companies live blog for live updates on the crisis…

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    Drivers in shortage

    The supply issues came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it was “struggling to meet deliveries”.

    It cannot find enough tanker drivers to make fuel deliveries.

    They are typically 20 short of the 400 to 450 needed a day.

    The Road Haulage Association says the UK lacks 100,000 HGV drivers in total.

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    Manage your fuel (Continued…)

    Mr Balmer – whose group represents the forecourts of two-thirds of Britain’s petrol stations – said that most petrol stations are “open for business”.

    He said: “What we are recommending is if you go to a forecourt, try and manage your own fuel stock so you have a little bit in your tank, say a quarter of a tank.

    “So, if that particular service station doesn’t have the grade of fuel that you need you have the option to go to another fuel court to stock up.”

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    Don’t go below a quarter full

    Drivers have been told not to let their petrol tank go below a quarter full and warned not to panic buy amid lorry driver shortage fears.

    BP and Tesco have been forced to close a “handful” of petrol stations because of a shortage of drivers preventing supplies getting to forecourts.

    Now, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says drivers should add “a little bit” of petrol to their cars in the “rare instance” that their garage is lacking supplies.

    But, the PRA’s executive director Gordon Balmer said drivers “shouldn’t be concerned” and should “buy fuel as normal” during an appearance on Good Morning Britain today.

    And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had “plenty of petrol” in a bid to dissuade the mounting panic.

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    No 10 could issue 10,000 visas

    The Government is considering temporary measures to tackle the shortage of HGV drivers which is wreaking havoc on a number of UK industries.

    No 10 insisted on Friday night that any measures introduced would be "very strictly time-limited" amid reports that Boris Johnson had allowed ministers to relax UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers into the country.

    And although Downing Street would not confirm whether any decisions had been made, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier promised to "move heaven and earth" to get the situation solved.

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    The numbers behind the shortages

    One petrol station manager said there is an issue “but it’s not an issue with our suppliers – there’s plenty of fuel out there”.

    Transport secretary Grant Shapps insisted it is only “a handful of petrol stations affected” and that drivers should “carry on as normal”

    Hanna Hofer, BP’s head of UK retail, told a government meeting last week the situation was “bad, very bad”. 

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    Drivers in shortage

    The supply issues came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it was “struggling to meet deliveries”.

    It cannot find enough tanker drivers to make fuel deliveries.

    They are typically 20 short of the 400 to 450 needed a day.

    The Road Haulage Association says the UK lacks 100,000 HGV drivers in total.

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    Where’s best to get fuel?

    Petrol stations on motorways and major roads are being prioritised for fuel deliveries.

    However, the AA today said that most of the UK’s forecourts are working as they should.

    President Edmund King said: “There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems.

    “Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week.”

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    Add ‘a little bit’ of fuel

    DRIVERS have been told not to panic buy amid lorry driver shortage fears.

    BP and Tesco have been forced to close a “handful” of petrol stations because of a shortage of drivers preventing supplies getting to forecourts.

    Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says drivers should add “a little bit” of petrol to their cars in the “rare instance” that their garage is lacking supplies.

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    Eco-protesters block port amid trucker shortage

    Cops attempted to drag the Insulate Britain mob away from the busiest port in Europe as they brought freight lorries grinding to a halt.

    Around 40 activists targeted the A20 at the Eastern Docks roundabout in Kent, as well as the junction with Union Street for the Western Docks at around 8.20am.

    A spokesperson for the group apologised for “the disruption we are causing” – but the protesters plonked themselves on the road anyway and could now face jail.

    Queues trailed back at least a mile and a half, and motorists quickly lost patience and confronted the “disrespectful” demonstrators.

    One shouted: “Do you really think stopping a couple of lorries is going to do anything? You’re just p***ing everyone off.”

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    10,000 new foreign worker visas

    The Government has reportedly decided to allow 10,000 new temporary foreign worker visas to ease the labour shortage.

    The FT reports ministers met on Friday night to come up with a range of measures to ease the pressures which have seen forecourts across the country to close and long queues of drivers at others.

    The new visas will be for people coming to work as a HGV drivers and in meat processing plants as it is another industry suffering from acute staff shortages.

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    ‘Overflowed onto the floor’

    One woman in Surrey said she even witnessed an “old guy” squeeze £2.65 worth of fuel into his tank “before it overflowed onto the floor”.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, telling Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.”

    Ministers are said to be drawing up emergency plans to bring soldiers in to drive tankers to forecourts suffering supply issues.

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    Tesco and BP close petrol stations

    TESCO, Esso and BP have been forced to close petrol stations after running out of fuel.

    Deliveries have been impacted by a shortage of HGV lorry drivers in the UK.

    BP is reportedly preparing to restrict fuel deliveries to forecourts due to lorry driver shortages.

    The oil and gas giant told the government last week that the situation is urgent and “very bad”, ITV News said.

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    Don’t go below a quarter full

    Drivers have been told not to let their petrol tank go below a quarter full and warned not to panic buy amid lorry driver shortage fears.

    BP and Tesco have been forced to close a “handful” of petrol stations because of a shortage of drivers preventing supplies getting to forecourts.

    Now, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says drivers should add “a little bit” of petrol to their cars in the “rare instance” that their garage is lacking supplies.

    But, the PRA’s executive director Gordon Balmer said drivers “shouldn’t be concerned” and should “buy fuel as normal” during an appearance on Good Morning Britain today.

    And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had “plenty of petrol” in a bid to dissuade the mounting panic.

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    Armed forces could be used

    Soldiers could be called upon to drive tankers under emergency Government plans.

    Ministers are said to be discussing placing servicemen on standby to drive petrol tankers amid reports at least 100 forecourts were suffering supply issues because of a driver shortage.

    The Times has been told contingency plans, called Operation Escalin, would go into action if the situation significantly deteriorated.

    The supply issues came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it was “struggling to meet deliveries”.

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    Huge queues at petrol stations across the country

    Across the country drivers are witnessing huge backlog when trying to get fuel from petrol stations.

    Hoards of drivers have been making late-night and early morning trips to stock up for fear the country’s fuel supply could completely run out due to a lack of HGV delivery drivers.

    Another motorist was one of many waiting for his local garage in Hunstanton, Norfolk, to open at 6am.

     

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    Panic buying

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, telling Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.”

    But Brits have been ignoring him in their thousands, rushing straight to the pump.

    A petrol station manager in Coventry said his store is already suffering from a loss of business because of a lack of fuel.

    He told Good Morning Britain: “The big problem is driver shortages.

    “We ran out of unleaded yesterday at 5.30 and already this morning we’ve seen panic-buying.”

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    Return to the road

    Retired truckers should get back behind the wheel to stop a nightmare fuel crisis, the Transport Secretary has urged.

    Grant Shapps today took to the airwaves with a rallying cry for ex-HGV drivers to plug the desperate shortage that's affecting deliveries to petrol stations across Britain.

    BP and Esso have both closed a number of forecourts due to the choke in the supply chain – with BP forced to ration.

    Downing Street insists there isn't a nationwide shortage of fuel and begged drivers not to panic-buy.

    But this morning Mr Shapps admitted: "I'm not saying there aren't pressures there are, it's just that we are making many, many changes and moving heaven and earth to get people into driving HGVs on very, very good salaries."

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    Drivers in shortage

    The supply issues came as Hoyer, one of the UK’s largest fuel logistics companies, revealed it was “struggling to meet deliveries”.

    It cannot find enough tanker drivers to make fuel deliveries.

    They are typically 20 short of the 400 to 450 needed a day.

    The Road Haulage Association says the UK lacks 100,000 HGV drivers in total.

  • [email protected]

    The numbers behind the shortages

    One petrol station manager said there is an issue “but it’s not an issue with our suppliers – there’s plenty of fuel out there”.

    Transport secretary Grant Shapps insisted it is only “a handful of petrol stations affected” and that drivers should “carry on as normal”

    Hanna Hofer, BP’s head of UK retail, told a government meeting last week the situation was “bad, very bad”. 

     

  • [email protected]

    ‘Overflowed onto the floor’

    One woman in Surrey said she even witnessed an “old guy” squeeze £2.65 worth of fuel into his tank “before it overflowed onto the floor”.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, telling Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.”

    Ministers are said to be drawing up emergency plans to bring soldiers in to drive tankers to forecourts suffering supply issues.

  • [email protected]

    Manage your fuel (Continued…)

    Mr Balmer – whose group represents the forecourts of two-thirds of Britain’s petrol stations – said that most petrol stations are “open for business”.

    He said: “What we are recommending is if you go to a forecourt, try and manage your own fuel stock so you have a little bit in your tank, say a quarter of a tank.

    “So, if that particular service station doesn’t have the grade of fuel that you need you have the option to go to another fuel court to stock up.”

  • [email protected]

    Don’t go below a quarter full

    Drivers have been told not to let their petrol tank go below a quarter full and warned not to panic buy amid lorry driver shortage fears.

    BP and Tesco have been forced to close a “handful” of petrol stations because of a shortage of drivers preventing supplies getting to forecourts.

    Now, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says drivers should add “a little bit” of petrol to their cars in the “rare instance” that their garage is lacking supplies.

    But, the PRA’s executive director Gordon Balmer said drivers “shouldn’t be concerned” and should “buy fuel as normal” during an appearance on Good Morning Britain today.

    And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said refineries had “plenty of petrol” in a bid to dissuade the mounting panic.

  • [email protected]

    Panic buying

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, telling Sky News: “The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well.”

    But Brits have been ignoring him in their thousands, rushing straight to the pump.

    A petrol station manager in Coventry said his store is already suffering from a loss of business because of a lack of fuel.

    He told Good Morning Britain: “The big problem is driver shortages.

    “We ran out of unleaded yesterday at 5.30 and already this morning we’ve seen panic-buying.”

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    Will cost of fuel be affected?

    Many drivers will be wondering whether or not the cost of fuel will change due to the current supply issues.

    RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The supply issues affecting a small number of petrol forecourts shouldn’t impact the prices drivers pay to fill up.

    “But unfortunately the price of oil, which has the biggest influence on what drivers pay the pumps, is continuing to rise at the moment.

    “This may lead to fuel prices going up in the coming days which would be yet more bad news for drivers as a litre of unleaded is already over 21p a litre more expensive than a year ago.”

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    What is Operation Escalin?

    The Government's plan to deal with the petrol shortage has been dubbed Operation Escalin, The Times reports.

    The idea would be to deploy soldiers to drive petrol tankers to make sure supply reaches forecourts and make up for the lack of HGV drivers.

    Other measures being discussed by the Cabinet include giving foreign workers short-term visas to ease the pressure caused by the shortage of HGV drivers and parts of the meat industry where vacancies are said to be as high as 15%.

    The idea was might with opposition from members of the Cabinet such as Home Secretary Priti Patel who said there was no guarantee foreign drivers would come to Britain and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng who proposed raising wages instead.

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