Government unveils measures to further ease fuel shortages

The UK Government has unveiled further measures to help ease fuel shortages, including putting military drivers on standby and extending some HGV licences.

British Army tanker drivers will be prepared to deliver fuel to where it is needed most and will receive specialised training before deploying.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “While the fuel industry expects demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, it’s right that we take this sensible, precautionary step. The UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel, however we are aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority.

“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel.”

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, added: “The men and women of our armed forces stand ready to alleviate the transport pressures where they are felt most. That is why I have authorised their increased preparedness so they are ready to respond if needed.”

In addition, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has authorised an extension to ADR driver licences, which allow drivers to transport goods, such as fuel. The measure will apply to licences expiring between 27 September and 31 December 2021, and extend their validity until 31 January 2022.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Extending ADR licences will further help ease any pressures on fuel drivers by removing the need for refresher training courses and ensuring they can keep providing their vital service on our roads.”

The move follows a joint statement issued by the fuel industry confirming that fuel supplies at UK refineries and terminals remain high, as well as encouraging the public to continue to purchase fuel as normal.

Over the weekend the businesses secretary took the decision to enact the Downstream Oil Protocol to relax competition rules to make it easier for industry to share information. This will help the sector to prioritise the delivery of fuel to the parts of the country and strategic locations that are most in need.