See how Britain’s gas shortage turned into a crisis overnight







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Average fuel sales and deliveries by gas station

September 24 fuel sales it soared to nearly double the previous Friday’s total as shortages at some gas stations became front-page news.

Fuel deliveries they increased a few days later, but arrived too late to avoid a crisis.

Typical sales and delivery pattern

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Average fuel sales and deliveries by gas station

Typical pattern of

sales and deliveries

September 24 fuel sales it soared to nearly double the previous Friday’s total as shortages at some gas stations became front-page news.

Fuel deliveries they increased a few days later, but arrived too late to avoid a crisis.

top Artboard 3

Average fuel sales and deliveries by gas station

Typical pattern of

sales and deliveries

September 24 fuel sales it soared to nearly double the previous Friday’s total as shortages at some gas stations became front-page news.

Fuel deliveries they increased a few days later, but arrived too late to avoid a crisis.

top Artboard 4

Average fuel sales and deliveries by gas station

September 24 fuel sales it soared to nearly double the previous Friday’s total as shortages at some gas stations became front-page news.

Fuel deliveries they increased a few days later, but arrived too late to avoid a crisis.

Typical sales and delivery pattern


Source: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | Note: The data is a sample that covers approximately 80 percent of typical gas sales. 10,000 liters is equal to 2,642 gallons.

New government data shows how Britain’s current fuel shortage turned into a crisis overnight. On September 24, panicked drivers bought twice as much fuel as the previous week, while deliveries to most gas stations remained at normal levels.

After the widespread closure of service stations and long lines that obstruct the roads, the worst of the crisis seems to be wearing off.

But in the south-east and London, deliveries remain limited and the army has been deployed. Approximately 200 soldiers drive gas tankers and provide logistical support. In these areas, 12 percent of service stations are still out of fuel, according to the Gasoline Retailers Association.


Fuel stocks have started to rebound across the country, but London and the South East are still lagging in other regions.

Average Stock Levels at Sampled Service Stations





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Fuel stocks are

typically around

40-50%.

Fuel stocks in the Southeast have been the slowest to recover.

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Fuel stocks are

typically around

40-50%.

stocks Artboard 3

Fuel stocks are

typically around

40-50%.

Fuel stocks in the Southeast have been the slowest to recover.

stocks Artboard 4

Fuel stocks are

typically around

40-50%.

Fuel stocks in the Southeast have been the slowest to recover.


Source: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | Note: The data is a sample that covers approximately 80 percent of typical gas sales.

Government officials have said the cause was not the fuel supply itself, but a chronic lack of trained drivers to make the deliveries.

The fuel crisis has been the most visible impact of the truck driver shortage that is hampering the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic. And, with Christmas fast approaching, businesses could face more challenges. Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability for the British Retail Consortium, a trade association, has said that supermarkets alone need an additional 15,000 truck drivers to avoid disruptions this Christmas.

The long-term problems of the commercial transportation industry have been compounded by Brexit and the pandemic. The workforce tends to be higher and the training of new drivers is expensive.

Today, there are 30,000 fewer truck drivers than a year ago. The British have abandoned the industry en masse and the deterioration of road facilities and grueling hours away from home have not encouraged new workers to join.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that Brexit is the cause of the driver shortage and instead singled out the trucking industry for a lack of investment.

“The fact is, they haven’t been putting money on truck stops, on conditions, on payment,” Johnson said, “so there is no supply of young people in this country who are frankly right now thinking of becoming truck drivers.”

But analysts say Britain’s exit from the European Union has shrunk the job market and that companies will need time to adjust. According to the Road Haulage Association, an industry group that has advocated for more driver visas, Britain has a shortage of up to 100,000 truckers, and 20 percent of them have left since the UK voted to leave the Union. European.


The British account for two-thirds of the reduction in truck drivers

Change in the number of truckers employed, by nationality

Source: UK Office for National Statistics | Note: The data shows the change in UK truck driver employment from July 2019 to June 2020, compared to the same period through June this year.

Due to the pandemic, the supply of newly trained drivers is scarcer than ever. More than 40,000 people typically pass their truck driving tests each year, but last year that dropped to just 16,000 when national closures shut down driving test centers and created a huge backlog of orders.






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The number of people who passed the trucking test dropped by 25,000 in the last year from the previous year.

The number of passed exams decreased by more than 60 per cent in all Scottish test centers.

Year-over-year decline

in past tests

Circles are ranked based on the number of tests passed in 2019-20

At the Transport Training Academy in Manchester, only 439 people passed their exams last year, up from 1,207 the year before.

There were 75 percent fewer exams passed at the Enfield testing center.

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The number of people who passed the trucking test dropped by 25,000 in the last year from the previous year.

Year-over-year decline in approved tests

The circles are classified according to the number of tests passed in 2019-20.

At the Transport Training Academy in Manchester, only 439 people passed their exams last year, up from 1,207 the year before.

There were 75 percent fewer exams passed at the Enfield testing center.

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The number of people who passed the trucking test dropped by 25,000 in the last year from the previous year.

Year-over-year decline in approved tests

The circles are classified according to the number of tests passed in 2019-20.

The number of passed exams decreased by more than 60 per cent in all Scottish test centers.

At the Transport Training Academy in Manchester, only 439 people passed their exams last year, up from 1,207 the year before.

There were 75 percent fewer exams passed at the Enfield testing center.


Source: UK Vehicle and Driver Standards Agency | Note: The map shows only the test centers with data for the year July 2019 through June 2020 and also for the same period through June 2021.

Road Haulage Association CEO Richard Burnett said it will take at least 18 months to train enough drivers to meet demand.

To provide short-term relief to the industry, the government has announced temporary visas for 5,000 fuel tanker and food truck drivers. But industry experts predicted the visas would be too small, too late, given the demand from truck drivers across Europe.

Recent figures from Transport Intelligence, an analytics firm, estimated a shortage of around 400,000 truckers in Europe, with Poland, Germany and the United Kingdom being the worst hit.

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