Wednesday 21 July 2021 6:59 pm

BP closes small number of petrol stations due to lorry driver shortage

BP said that the current shortage of lorry drivers meant that it had had to close a small number of its UK petrol stations.

The oil giant said that the majority of its shortages of petrol and diesel were being resolved within a day.

But the warning is yet another sign of how deeply the impact of the current dearth of drivers is being felt across the whole economy.

In a statement, the FTSE 100 firm said: “We are working hard with our haulier supplier to deliver fuel into sites and minimise any disruption to our customers. 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.”

The Road Haulage Association, the trade body for the haulage industry, estimates that the current shortage comprises around 60,000 drivers.

Yesterday the government laid out proposals as to how it could mitigate the problem, including plans to ease testing requirements for new drivers.

Ministers have already relaxed the time restrictions which currently govern for how long hauliers can drive.

Both sets of measures have met with scepticism from the industry, however, who warned that they were just a “sticking plaster”, as well as potentially safety risks.