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World UK: Soldiers to start driving fuel tankers in coming days

14:55  30 september  2021
14:55  30 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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LONDON (AP) — The British government's reserve tanker fleet was deployed Wednesday to help deliver gasoline to empty pumps across the U.K., and military drivers will begin operating fuel tankers in the coming days to ease the country's fuel-supply crisis, a top official said.

A man fills his car at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press A man fills his car at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) A closed petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press A closed petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The comments from Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng came as the fuel industry said in a statement that the crisis, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, was easing.

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Petrol pumps out of use at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press Petrol pumps out of use at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Kwarteng said the first of dozens of troops trained to operate gasoline tanker trucks will start appearing behind the wheel on roads within days.

UK mulls calling in army to help ease gas shortage at pumps

  UK mulls calling in army to help ease gas shortage at pumps LONDON (AP) — Lines of cars formed at some British gas stations for a fourth day on Monday, as the government mulled sending in the army to help ease supply disruption triggered by a shortage of truck drivers. Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, said training had been taking place “in the background” for military personnel to drive tankers, though the government said it had “no plans at the moment” to deploy troops. © Provided by Associated Press An out of use sign is seen on a pump at a petrol station after the current outbreak of fuel panic buying in the UK, in Manchester, England Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

“It takes, sometimes, a few days to get troops on the ground. We have decided to do that. I think in the next couple of days you will see some soldiers driving tankers,” Kwarteng told reporters.

He added that the government’s reserve tanker fleet, driven by civilian drivers, will begin providing “additional logistical capacity to the fuel industry" beginning Wednesday.

Many gas stations around Britain have shut down in the past five days after running out of fuel, a situation exacerbated by panic buying among some motorists. Long lines of vehicles formed at pumps that were still open, blocking roads and causing traffic chaos. Some drivers have had to endure hourslong waits to fill up.

A driver fills a car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press A driver fills a car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents the majority of U.K. gas stations, said just 27% of members reported being out of fuel Wednesday.

United Kingdom: Faced with the fuel scarcity, the government calls the army to stand ready

 United Kingdom: Faced with the fuel scarcity, the government calls the army to stand ready © Copyright 2021, Obs The United Kingdom has asked Monday, September 27 to its army to be ready. Help in The ongoing fuel crisis in the country, after a weekend where the worried British rushed to the service stations, leaving a lot to dryness. "A limited number of military tanker drivers must be ready to intervene and deployed if necessary to stabilize the supply of fuel", said the Ministry of Energy in the evening in a statement.

A joint statement issued by Shell U.K., BP and other fuel companies said they were “confident that the situation will stabilize further in the coming days."

The companies welcomed the deployment of the reserve tankers and said they were working closely with the government to maintain regular deliveries to gas stations. They reiterated that the truck driver shortage is the problem and there has “always been plenty of fuel at our refineries and terminals.”

A driver fills his car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press A driver fills his car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Despite the optimistic outlook, a taxi drivers' union said about a quarter of its members were not able to work Tuesday and there appeared to be few immediate signs of the situation improving.

Great Britain sends the army to supply the

 Great Britain sends the army to supply the service stations The British army will begin by the end of the week to route gasoline to the service stations by tankers, reports SKY News Tuesday. "A high-placed source is saying that the military will start driving tanks to service stations in the course of the week after the Ministry of Defense approved an official aid application", writes Sky News on Twitter.

“It has not got any better. The queues at the station — if you can find a station with any to queue up — are not getting any better," said Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.

The supply problems have stemmed from a shortage of as many as 100,000 truck drivers, due to a combination of factors including pandemic-related disruption to driver training, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers following Britain’s departure from the European Union last year.

As well as getting help from the army, Britain's Conservative government is trying to entice former British drivers back into the industry, as well as accelerate the training of new drivers.

A driver fills their car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © Provided by Associated Press A driver fills their car with fuel at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public Tuesday that a fuel-supply crisis snarling the country was “stabilizing,” though his government said it would be a while before the situation returns to normal. Johnson's government has put army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline and help ease a fuel drought, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, that has drained hundreds of pumps and sent frustrated drivers on long searches for gas. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

It’s also offering visas to 5,000 foreign drivers to come to the U.K for three months, but critics and others like Romanian truck driver Bron Zoltan said that timeline is too short.

“I heard about the 3-month visas," he said. “If you give me a contract for 3 months, then what? What will happen to me?”

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AP videojournalist Nicolae Dumitrache contributed to this report.

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Follow all AP stories on post-Brexit developments at https://apnews.com/hub/Brexit.

Fuel shortages are leaving people stranded in Britain .
As well as dropping people off at nightclubs, train stations and shopping centers, David Lawrie's taxi drivers are relied upon to transport disabled passengers, and drive children to school. But as fuel stations across the UK run dry, those drivers are having to make difficult decisions about who does and doesn't get to travel.The UK military is on standby to deliver gasoline to service stations after a shortage of truck drivers forced some to close last week, triggering a spate of panic buying by British motorists. Drivers have been forced to wait in line for hours at the pumps that are still open, and local media has reported instances of violence between irate customers as tensions rise.

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