Bucks Council calls emergency meeting to combat fuel shortage in Aylesbury and beyond
Aylesbury residents have been desperately searching for diesel all weekend.
An emergency meeting has been called by Bucks Council this morning (27 September), to combat the fuel shortage in Aylesbury and beyond.
Bucks motorists have been plastering Facebook community groups all weekend, to find the few remaining stations still stocking diesel in particular.
Much like the rest of the UK, Aylesbury petrol stations have been overran, with desperate panic buyers and motorists fearful of running out of fuel.
Bucks Council Leader Councillor Martin Tett announced on Twitter this morning that the council chief executive has called an emergency meeting.
Councillor Tett said: "Our @BucksCouncil Chief Exec is holding an emergency meeting this morning to see what, if anything, we can do to assist key workers with fuel in the panic buying situation."
A host of stations in Bucks has ran completely out of petrol and diesel after the chaotic buying this weekend.
The few places that still has fuel available in Aylesbury is facing increasing queues and certain stations have now been cordoned off as lucky, motorists just beat this morning's rush.
Certain residents have pointed the finger at the 'greedy' few who filled up cans this weekend, making it impossible for others to keep their cars running.
An anonymous petrol station worker near Aylesbury says he witnessed multiple people filling up jerry cans on site during the buying spree.
The UK is temporarily suspending competition laws in a bid to allow the fuel industry to target petrol stations most in need of supplies, following panic-buying from motorists.
Officials have said the move would make it easier for companies to share information so it can prioritise parts of the country where fuel supplies are running low.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) warns that two-thirds of its 5,500 independent outlets are out of fuel, with the rest “partly dry and running out soon”.
The government is said to be considering the option of deploying the Army to deliver fuel today.
In a joint statement from Shell, ExxonMobile and Greenergy, the industry reiterated that the pressures on supply were being caused by “temporary spikes in customer demand, not a national shortage of fuel”.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson told the BBC that the shortages were due to “panic buying, pure and simple”, with priority by oil companies being afforded to keeping motorway service station pumps topped up.
The possible deployment of the army to deliver fuel to petrol stations comes less than 24 hours after the government announced a temporary visa scheme for foreign drivers.
Under the scheme, a total of 5,000 foreign HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers will be allowed into the UK on three-month contracts up to 24 December to help keep supermarket shelves stocked and tackle fuel delivery difficulties in the run up to Christmas.
However, retailers have warned that relaxing immigration rules to fix supply chain issues was “too little, too late” to keep shop shelves fully stocked over the festive season.
Asked what shop shelves might look like by late December, British Retail Consortium director Andrew Opie told the BBC: “I think we’re going to see less choice, less availability, possibly shorter shelf life as well, which is really disappointing because this could have been averted.
“I think it’s inevitable now, just through the shortage of drivers, that we won’t be able to get all the products onto the shelves that we would have liked to.”