Fuel Shortage in the UK Caused by Lack of Truck Drivers – Fast Facts


Photo courtesy Praiso

UK Fuel Shortage

There is more than enough fuel in the UK, but due to the pandemic and Brexit, there is no one to drive it anywhere. As a Guardian article states, “The government and retailers say there is enough fuel at UK refineries, but a shortage of drivers has slowed down the transport of it to some petrol stations.” 

Brexit has forced many immigrant workers to return to their home countries, resulting in a shortage in the truck driving workforce. Grant Shapps, the transport minister, blames COVID-19 because it prevented 40,000 truck drivers from taking their HGV driving tests. Reuters reports that the UK faces a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers from both of these problems combined. 

British consumers are now panic-buying and using social media to spread the word about a fuel delivery arriving. “It’s like bees to a honey pot,” the Petrol Retailers Association chair, Brian Madderson, said. “Everyone flocks there, and … within a few hours, it is out again.” 

The Guardian reports that “On Monday, about 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, will start deliveries to offer “temporary” support.” But this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the 100,000 drivers they need. The government is also extending temporary visas for foreign workers to help fill the shortages.