NHS staff and key workers could get priority access to petrol pumps under emergency plans
28 September 2021, 10:46
Petrol shortage: Emergency government plans could give key workers access to fuel pumps.
NHS staff and key workers could be given priority for fuel under new government plans, as petrol stations continue to run out.
A lack of HGV drivers has made it difficult for fuel supplies to reach petrol stations.
While the government has said there is no actual shortage, the situation has caused many people to panic buy petrol.
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This means that up to 90 per cent of stations have run out in some areas across the country, with many people unable to get to work.
But now reports have suggested that those who work for the NHS will be given ‘priority access’ to stations.
According to the Telegraph, government sources have said they could end up designating petrol stations to key workers if the fuel crisis continues.
This comes as the Prime Minister faces calls from NHS groups, unions and medical bodies to make sure doctors, nurses and other key workers get fuel first.
A nurse from Ashton, who works at Rochdale Infirmary, told Manchester Evening News the situation is causing extra stress for the NHS.
Paula Mulligan, 54, said: “I’m just so upset. It’s the toilet roll situation all over again.
“During the first lockdown I couldn’t get toilet roll anywhere now here I am with no petrol with people panic buying again.
“I really thought they would open up special NHS pumps. People are stressing."
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has now ordered the army to remain on standby to help fuel reach petrol stations, with 150 tanks waiting to be deployed if necessary.
Business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said in a statement: “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.”
But a joint statement from the fuel industry, has said companies expect the situation to ease in the coming days.
Ten companies such as BP, Shell and Esso, have said there is “plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals”, adding: “We are working closely with the government to help ensure fuel is available to be delivered to stations across the country”.