Some care workers and NHS staff unable to fill up, mayor Sadiq Khan says

Taxi drivers are also struggling to buy petrol but the bus network has enough fuel, according to Mr Khan.

Lorry driver shortage
Lorry driver shortage

Some care workers, NHS staff and taxi drivers are unable to fill up at petrol stations, London mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

London’s bus network has enough fuel but the “shambolic situation” has meant that shortages are hitting petrol stations across the capital.

Mr Khan told Sky News: “We’re hearing stories across London of petrol stations running out of petrol.

“Our emergency services and our buses have enough and they have some in reserve, but we are hearing stories about care workers, people who work in hospitals who need their car to go to hospital, black cab drivers, private hire vehicle drivers not being able to fuel up and provide the services that our city needs but  also to enable people to get to work.

Lorry driver shortage
A Shell petrol station in Bracknell, Berkshire, with no fuel on Sunday September 26, 2021 (PA).

“We are working with the DfT (Department for Transport) to do what we can to make sure we have fuel being provided particularly for those key workers across our city.”

There has been a predictable shortage of haulage drivers since Brexit happened and the pandemic affected the training of new drivers, according to Mr Khan, and these factors have helped to create the problem.

His comments came as it is said the Prime Minister is considering whether to call in soldiers to deliver fuel to petrol stations as pumps ran dry after days of panic-buying.

Several reports suggested that Boris Johnson on Monday could take the drastic step of sending in the Army to drive oil tankers as “frenzied buying” added to fuel-supply issues caused by a lack of HGV drivers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has refused to rule out requesting military assistance, after queues for the pumps continued across the country at the weekend.

Mr Shapps has already backed down over his reluctance to import foreign labour to solve the HGV driver shortage, by creating 5,000 three-month visas to bring in extra hauliers to address delivery pressures.

The Cabinet minister told the BBC the move would fix the “100 to 200” fuel tanker driver shortfall, as he urged motorists to be “sensible” and only fill up when necessary to help alleviate the queues.

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