British soldiers will start driving tankers to replenish empty pumps, as drivers queued again for fuel after days of shortages, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the situation was improving.
Britain has been gripped by a rush of panic-buying for almost a week that has left pumps dry across major cities, after oil companies warned they did not have enough tanker drivers to move petrol and diesel from refineries to filling stations.
Business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said 150 soldiers had been mobilised, and would be driving tankers within a few days.
“The last few days have been difficult, we’ve seen large queues. But I think the situation is stabilising, we’re getting petrol into the forecourts. I think we’re going to see our way through this,” Kwarteng said.
Johnson has sought to quell concerns, saying supplies were returning to normal while also urging people not to panic buy.
A shortage of around 100,000 drivers has sown chaos through supply chains and raised the spectre of empty shelves and price increases at Christmas.