Yesterday morning, around 50-100 of the UK’s 8,380 petrol stations reported some issues with receiving their deliveries due to the ongoing challenges in the HGV sector.
Since then, we have seen the press and social media at their most destructive and irresponsible - exaggerating a story to create mass panic rather than doing their job, which is to report news.
Whilst there wasn’t a problem yesterday morning, there is now: with the 24 hours of panic buying placing real pressure on the supply chain.
There are no shortages of fuel stocks; the delivery problems - where they existed - were minor; and more deliveries will be arriving over the next few days as usual. But if the panic buying continues, we could well see further problems well into next week.
HGV driver-related supply chains are affected by many issues, including post-pandemic, DVSA and IR35 factors, and the availability of foreign workers. The government is already addressing these through relaxations on testing, and temporary rule adjustments such as visas.
I know my constituents in North Norfolk are sensible people, and will treat the media’s irresponsible approach with the caution it deserves. I call upon everyone to avoid buying fuel if you don’t need it. There’s certainly no need to be stockpiling jerry cans, for instance. It’s vital that our carers, essential workers, and others who need to get to work can do so.