There has been much speculation whether the army will be involved in the recent fuel crisis. After many contradictory reports, Kwasi Kwarteng said that the army will be a part of fuel delivery in a matter of days. Even still, some industry sources estimate the crisis lasting for a whole month
Kwasi Kwarteng admitted the past few days – which have seen long queues outside petrol stations and some pumps running dry – had been “difficult”.
However, he denied there was a crisis in UK fuel supplies and said the situation was “stabilising”. Some 150 military drivers are ready to drive the fuel tankers, according to the BBC.
The latest reports claimed that the government kept the army on standby. Now, they will not stand idly by anymore. Mr. Kwarteng said: “It takes a couple of days, sometimes a few days to get troops on the ground.
“We’ve decided to do that, and I think in the next couple of days, people will see some soldiers driving the tanker fleet.”
Read More: British army prepares to help in securing fuel
Kwarteng echoed the government’s undermining of the situation saying: “We’ve seen large queues but I think the situation is stabilising. We’re getting petrol into the forecourts and yesterday that was matched by the sales.”
Stabilized or Escalated?
On Tuesday, speaking for the first time since issues began at filling stations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sought to reassure drivers about supplies, saying that people should be “confident” to go about their business.
The prime minister said on Tuesday he would not seek to prioritise essential workers at pumps because things were “stabilising”.
He said panic buying of petrol had followed a “slightly misleading” account of the shortages of lorry drivers which caused an “understandable surge in public demand”.
“The actual number of lorry drivers that we’re short in that particular sector isn’t very big. But generally there is a shortage in that profession around the world,” he said.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said there were “early signs” the pressure was starting to ease at the pumps.
Some experts are now predicting that the balance between demand and supply could even out by Saturday, says the BBC.
But the Times reported industry sources as saying disruption could “continue for weeks” because of the time it will take to restock petrol stations. One source even told the newspaper that BP will continue to face many issues throughout the next month.