Driver shortage forces temporary closure of some BP fuel stations

BP fuel station

A “handful” of BP petrol stations have been closed temporarily due to driver shortages impacting the delivery of fuel.

However, the oil firm told the BBC that the "vast majority" of shortages were being "resolved within a day".

The issue had been further exacerbated by a distribution centre having to close last week after some staff had been told to isolate.

"We are working hard with our haulier supplier to deliver fuel into sites and minimise any disruption to our customers,” said BP. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

"Our supply chain has been impacted by the industry-wide driver shortages across the UK and was exacerbated by the temporary closure of our Hemel Hempstead fuel distribution terminal last week because of necessary Covid-19 isolations amongst staff. The terminal is now operating as normal once again."

Ministers have unveiled a package of measures to tackle the HGV driver shortage and ease pressure on the sector. 

They include launching a consultation on allowing drivers to take one test to drive both an articulated and rigid lorry. This, says the Government, would streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and would increase lorry test appointment availability.

The pandemic has resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing, while online retail averaged 28.1% of retail sales in 2020, according to Logistics UK, up from 19.2% in 2019. 

In an effort to help alleviate the pressure, ministers have pledged to work with industry leaders to attract new drivers, simplify training and encourage people to stay in the industry in an open letter to the road haulage sector.

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