Why are petrol stations closing? All you need to know about the petrol shortage

Many petrol stations across the UK have been forced to close their forecourts this week. Tesco and BP are among the retailers who have closed some of their stations due to fuel shortages. Has the UK lost control of its petrol supplies? Here’s the latest of the shortages and which stations have been temporarily closed.

Why are petrol stations closing?

A lack of HGV drivers has lead to a shortage of many products across the UK this summer.

Now the shortage of drivers has hit the fuel industry.

© GETTY Picture of an out of use petrol pump

Both BP and Tesco cannot refuel their stations properly, as they are struggling to get enough drivers to transport enough petrol and diesel to their forecourts.

BP say they will provide 80 percent of normal services to nine in ten of their forecourts.

They have prioritised their motorway services to ensure as many people as possible have access to fuel for long journeys.

© GETTY Picture of a tesco fuel lorry

Is there a petrol shortage?

Global oil demand has increased as economies reopen after successive lockdowns.

This has lead to a global shortage of petrol supplies.

BP says it has “two-thirds of normal forecourt stock levels required for smooth operations.”

© GETTY Picture of an empty HGV

What is the current price of petrol?

UK petrol prices have soared this year, they are at their highest level since 2013.

The average price of a litre of unleaded reached 135.13p last month.

The global demand for petrol has driven up prices to an eight-year high in the UK.

© GETTY Picture of a BP petrol station

Why are there a lack of HGV drivers?

There are several reasons for the lack of HGV drivers in the UK.

Covid has been a major reason behind the shortage of drivers.

Many European drivers went home last year as large parts of the economy were forced to shut down due to the pandemic.

Lots of these drivers haven’t returned to work in the UK as the economy started to reopen.

Covid restrictions and repeated lockdowns have also created a backlog in HGV driving tests.

This has meant there has been a lack of new drivers entering the industry.

Fewer young people seem keen to become lorry drivers, as the sector demands long working hours and costly retraining.

Brexit has made it harder to recruit the extra hauliers needed from Europe, which has worsened the current crisis.

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