Tesco and BP close petrol stations and 'ration fuel' deliveries due to lorry driver shortage

TESCO and BP have been forced to close petrol stations after running out of fuel.

Deliveries have been impacted by a shortage of HGV lorry drivers in the UK.

BP is reportedly preparing to restrict fuel deliveries to forecourts due to lorry driver shortages.

The oil and gas giant told the government last week that the situation is urgent and "very bad", ITV News said.

BP has “two thirds of normal forecourt stock levels required for smooth operations," head of UK retail Hanna Hofer told the Cabinet Office meeting last Thursday.

She said the level is “declining rapidly” and the company is preparing to restrict deliveries “very soon”.

The company admitted that there were problems with fuel deliveries at some retail sites, which had led to closures.

The Sun understands that tens of forecourts are affected at any one time.

BP, which has 1,200 sites across the UK, is prioritising getting deliveries to motorway service stations.

A BP spokesperson said: "We are experiencing some fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites in the UK and unfortunately have therefore seen a handful of sites temporarily close due to a lack of both unleaded and diesel grades.

"These have been caused by some delays in the supply chain which has been impacted by the industry-wide driver shortages across the UK and there are many actions being taken to address the issue.

"We continue to work with our haulier supplier to minimise any future disruption and to ensure efficient and effective deliveries to serve our customers.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

A small number of Tesco petrol stations are also closed.

There have been reports of Tesco petrol stations closing or running out of fuel in Dorset, the Isle of Wight and Devon. 

ExxonMobil, which operates Esso, confirmed a "small number" of its 200 Tesco Alliance sites were affected.

A spokesperson said: "We are working closely with all parties in our distribution network to optimise supplies and minimise any inconvenience to customers. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience.”

The Sun has contacted Tesco for comment.

The firms are the latest to be affected by the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK, although so far the focus has been on shops and restaurants.

The Road Haulage Association and Logistics UK estimate that there is a shortfall of between 75,000 and 100,000 HGV drivers.

A reduction of HGV testing during lockdown, an increase in the number of drivers retiring and EU nationals returning home have contributed to the shortage.

We reported yesterday that Tesco has warned the government that there could be panic buying this Christmas if the supply chain crisis isn't resolved.

Earlier this month Morrisons boss David Potts said food prices could rise due to the lorry driver issues.

The Food and Drink Federation also said that the UK could face a Christmas crisis if there is any more disruption to supply chains.

Lorry drivers have been offered up to £70k-a-year and £2,000 joining bonuses as firms try to plug the gap.

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