UK fuel crisis: Latest news

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In addition to dropping people off at nightclubs, train stations, and malls, David Lawrie’s taxi drivers are used to transport disabled passengers and drive children to school. But as petrol stations across the UK dry up, these drivers have to make tough decisions about who to travel and not.

The British military is ready to deliver petrol to gas stations after a shortage of truck drivers forced some to close last week, sparking a wave of panic buying among British motorists. Drivers have been forced to queue for hours at pumps that are always open, and local media have reported cases of violence between angry customers as tensions mount.

But the people who don’t drive are perhaps the most disadvantaged.

“The taxi industry takes passengers with disabilities, and special education needs children in schools, doctors and nurses who don’t drive, or when their car breaks down – that’s a service vital community that is 100% dependent on fuel, ”Lawrie, director of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association, told CNN Business.

Lawrie said he heard of taxi drivers in the English town of Colchester who had to stop driving on weekends in order to save fuel so they could transport students with special educational needs this week.

“We have retirees confined to the house because we cannot reach them,” he added.

Some drivers attempting longer trips have been forced to abandon their cars after running dry, while essential workers have said they cannot do their jobs without fuel.

The British Medical Association on Monday called for emergency measures to allow healthcare workers priority access to fuel, warning that “there is a real risk that the NHS [National Health Service] staff will not be able to do their jobs and provide life-saving care and services to those in urgent need. “

“While the government said it was putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of heavy goods vehicles [truck] drivers to haul fuel, the results will not be immediate. Caregivers and essential workers must therefore have priority access to fuel so that they can continue their crucial work and guarantee patient care, ”said Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the association’s board, in a statement.

Motorists are also worried about how they will get to work.

“Right now I have enough gasoline but if I can’t find it today or tomorrow I can imagine not being able to get my car and that will turn my 25 minute trip into maybe about a hour and a half, “he added. Student Priyanka Oza told CNN Business on Monday, adding that the Greater London hospital where she works is poorly served by public transport.

“I have to take a few buses, or even go to the center [London] and come back. “

Lawrie said if the problem is not resolved quickly, workers who depend on fuel for their livelihoods will suffer.

“If there is no fuel, there is no income because we don’t use fuel to get to work, we use fuel for work. So if we can’t drive, we can’t take passengers, but if we can “Don’t pick passengers, we have no income. So that’s a huge problem, ”Lawrie added.


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