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- It can get ugly - E24

– It can get ugly – E24

After 18 days of fuel shortages, British motorists are still lining up for pumps.

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London (E24): 13 drivers in line for petrol tearing their hair out and firing in unison as a large white truck cuts off from the right and creeps into third place.

Esso station along the A5 in Cricklewood north London is one of the few in the area with open pumps. The Shell station, located 40 meters from the road, put up handwritten signs with “sorry no fuel” and cones in front of the pumps.

There is still an approach to the UK’s fuel crisis.

Although all pumps are empty, and not everyone faces long queues, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already deployed the army to transport fuel to stations.

The reason is that the empty pumps are partly due to the serious shortage of heavy transport drivers, the number of which is about 100,000.

Thousands of drivers have left the UK due to Brexit, and many have chosen to stay in their home countries because working conditions have relatively improved. The epidemic also plays a major role.

A white truck, front left, crept into the fuel line at this Esso station in Cricklewood, London. These are desperate times for some, even though there are no single queues at all stations.

– I was lucky

Some car lengths behind the white van sits Philip Samworth’s piano voice in a Toyota red hybrid. Everything takes step by step after about 10 minutes in class.

“I only came on this road because I knew there were a number of gas stations here, so I was hoping one of them might have fuel,” Samworth says from behind the wheel.

The queue grows long as he talks to E24 – heading into the afternoon in London.

– I was lucky, I was able to see the beginning of the queue and stood in the back.

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Issuance of an emergency visa

Queues can go on for a long time. The authorities have provided 5,000 temporary visas for foreign heavy transport drivers, of which only 300 are for tanker drivers, according to a report BBC.

As of October 6, 127 modest drivers from the European Union have applied for this special visa.

The offer of emergency visas is a kind of complete rollback for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has tightened immigration rules after Brexit, and insisted Britain become less dependent on foreign labour.

Johnson told the BBC that the low number of drivers reflected a “global problem” that was particularly acute in the UK, and he blamed the long-established heavy transport industry.

Londoner Philip Samworth took the opportunity to queue for gas when he saw an open station, but the hybrid allows him to take things easy.

– People get wild

– I’m not despairing, but I thought that if I could get fuel now, it would be the right time. When I have a hybrid, I can drive relatively economically, and I don’t need a lot of fuel. But I saw the opportunity here and seized it, says Philip Samworth, who is consistently ahead of the waiting list.

This is his first long line for gasoline pumps, he says. But he had to turn around.

There is a gas station down the street where I live. And when they get the fuel there, people go completely wild, shutting down the entire area, he says.

The area he’s talking about includes the A406, also known as the North Circular, and according to Samworth, motorists cut this highway while standing in line.

– Motorists can’t get past this madness. And people try to sneak into the queue, like the white truck is there, he says, pointing through the windshield.

– They just jump straight. And I think in recent days, the police have been called several times. He says it can be ugly.

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Shell station in Cricklewood had empty pumps when E24 passed on Wednesday afternoon.

Investigation required

The fuel shortage has so far lasted for 18 days, starting on Monday, and despite improvement in several places, every fifth stop in London and southeast England remains without fuel.

On Thursday last week, the Gasoline Retailers Association (PRA) announced that the situation was on “marginal improvement”, but they were still facing difficult times, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. BBC.

On the same day, news came that UK fuel chains were requesting an independent investigation into the supply crisis, to ensure it does not happen again.

Recovery simply doesn’t come fast enough. We are in crisis 15 days. PRA Chairman Brian Maderson said there must be an independent investigation into the crisis so motorists are protected from this type of severe fuel shortage in the future. Watchman.

according to Figures from the Ministry of Trade, Energy and Industry Fuel stocks fell sharply several days before September 23, when the shortage reached the media. This news came after BP announced that it was forced to ration fuel due to a shortage of drivers.

Inventories fell from a normal level of 40-45 percent to 33 percent before September 20, and continued to fall below 20 percent when the panic attack occurred.

At the same time, oil companies have confirmed that there is fuel available.

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