FILE PHOTO: Multiple trucks in a Cobham, UK service area on Aug. 31, 2021. REUTERS / Peter Cziborra
LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s Transport Minister on Tuesday asked drivers to refrain from filling old water bottles with fuel at petrol stations after panic-driven shopping left pumps empty in big cities. .
“We are starting to see very timid signs of stabilization that are not yet reflected in the queues,” Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky. He added that the reserves of many gas stations had been replenished.
“The sooner we all get back to our normal shopping habits, the faster this will be resolved, and I am calling on the public to do so. In particular, no more bottles of water at gas stations – it’s dangerous and it doesn’t help.”
Queues of drivers were again seen on Tuesday at gas stations that continued to serve large cities, although dozens of service stations were closed with signs saying they had no gasoline or diesel, according to Reuters journalists.
Shapps said the fuel crisis was almost entirely due to the COVID pandemic, which brought truck license examinations to a standstill.
“This problem is almost entirely due to the coronavirus and the inability, during closures, to screen new drivers of heavy vehicles,” Shapps said.
“I hear about Brexit a lot, and it certainly will have been a factor. On the other hand, it has actually helped us to change the rules so that we can screen more drivers more quickly, flexibilities that we have received when leaving the EU and to be able to change the law, “Shapps said.
(Information from Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; translated by Tomás Cobos)