The CCTV cameras of British service stations in recent days have recorded scenes of fights between their staff and exasperated motorists, or even between the latter themselves, as shown in the TF1 report at the top of this article.
It must be said that it often takes hours to find a station stocked with fuel, then wait its turn in queues that paralyze entire neighborhoods. “I only have a quarter of a tank left”, tells one of them to TF1, “so I have to take it upon myself and stand in line, but it’s a real carnage right now”. The manager of a service station explains for her part trying to play appeasement. “When we have a delivery they line up and they fight. We try to calm them down “.
22% of UK petrol pumps are currently dry, some for more than a week, and most concentrated in Greater London, and the south-east of England. The lack of supply is not due to a shortage of fuel… but to a lack of labor, as this other subject of TF1 explains below. Nearly 100,000 drivers are missing from all sectors, a combined effect of Brexit and the pandemic.
The government has also decided to grant more than 10,000 visas to urgently recruit foreign drivers, while driving schools are working hard to train them in an emergency. Supply difficulties are affecting many sectors, however, and empty shelves in supermarkets pose a threat to the Christmas holidays in the UK.