Soldiers to fill pumps as UK fuel crisis drags

Britain is deploying soldiers to replenish empty pumps, as a fuel supply crisis drags on.

Up to 90% of filling stations have run dry up and down the country.

That's after a shortage of truck drivers hit supplies, sparking panic-buying.

Long lines have formed at the few outlets that still have gas, with fights between car drivers breaking out in some places.

Business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said 150 soldiers had been mobilized, and would be driving tankers within a few days.

"We've stood up military drivers, and we want to just make sure that we get enough petrol into the forecourts that can actually mean that we have enough supply for demand. And it looks like when we look at the figures yesterday, it looks like the situation is stabilizing. The inflow of petrol matches the sales."

The crisis is also becoming a big concern for anyone who depends on vehicles to work.

Paul Kirby is a London taxi driver:

"It's massive. Friends of mine have not been able to come to work this morning because they're so low they can't risk coming out and running out. It's really, really worrying."

Ministers, oil companies and petrol stations all say there is no shortage of fuel.

It's the combination of a lack of truckers and panic buying that has drained the system.

Now army drivers could help fill some of the gap.

But not very much.

Hauliers estimate the country is short of around 100,000 truckers.

Many left as a result of Brexit, while lockdowns hampered training for new drivers.

However, with so many cars now filled up, the Petrol Retailers Association predicts that the supply crunch should ease in the coming days.

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