Boris Johnson urges public to 'go about your business in a normal way' amid panic-buying induced fuel shortages

Boris Johnson urges public to 'go about your business in a normal way' amid panic-buying induced fuel shortages
boris fuel shortage
Josh Kaplan

By Josh Kaplan

Published: 28/09/2021

- 17:35

Updated: 28/09/2021

- 17:49

He said there were signs that demand was easing

Mr Johnson said panic buying of petrol followed a “slightly misleading” account of the shortages of lorry drivers which caused an “understandable surge in public demand”.

He said: “The actual number of lorry drivers that were short in that particular sector isn’t very big. But generally there is a shortage in that profession around the world.

“And what we want to see is an emphasis on high wage, a high-skill, a high-productivity approach to our economy.

“What I don’t think people in this country want to do is fix all our problems with uncontrolled immigration. Again, we tried that for a long time – 20 years or so, perhaps longer.

“And in the end, people could see that it was leading to a low-wage, low-skill approach without enough investment in people or in equipment, in capital. And that’s not the way we want the UK to develop and grow.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Johnson said: “I would really urge everybody to go about their business in the normal way and fill up (at petrol stations) in the normal way when you really need it.

“What we want to do is to make sure we have all the preparations needed to get through to Christmas and beyond, not just in supply for petrol stations but all parts of the supply chain.”

The Prime Minister also said petrol shortages were “stabilising”.

He said: “I want to say, first of all, how much I sympathise with people who’ve been worried about their journeys, worried about whether they’ll be able to use their cars in the normal way, to see their loved ones or whatever it is, and I know how frustrating, infuriating it must have been to worry about shortage of petrol or fuel.

“We now are starting to see the situation improve; we’re hearing from industry that supplies are coming back on to the forecourt in the normal way.

“I would just stress that on the forecourts the situation is stabilising and people should be confident and just go back to their business in the normal way.”

Elsewhere, The Petrol Retailers Association said there are “early signs” the fuel crisis is ending.

Executive director Gordon Balmer said: “There are early signs that the crisis at pumps is ending, with more of our members reporting that they are now taking further deliveries of fuel.

“Fuel stocks remain normal at refineries and terminals, although deliveries have been reduced due to the shortage of HGV drivers.

“We have conducted a survey of our members this morning and only 37% of forecourts have reported being out of fuel today. With regular restocks taking place, this percentage is likely to improve further over the next 24 hours.”

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