A couple of days ago, a couple of media outlets, notably the BBC, reported on how a small number of filling stations had been forced to close.
There is of course a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK at present, which is resulting in a number of supply chain issues, that much is true. This has meant that some filling stations have not received their regular delivery on schedule. So if they end up running out of fuel to supply, there’s not much point in being open.
While the news articles in question did point out that there was no actual shortage of petrol or diesel, this fact somehow got overlooked by the vast majority of people.
The filling stations mentioned in those initial news stories would have likely opened again within a couple of days, once they received their fuel delivery.
There are something like 8000+ filling stations across the UK, and of those, less than 100 were temporarily closed.
What happened next? You probably know the rest.
For some reason, people got it in their heads that there was a ‘fuel shortage’, and the first thing they think to do is “drive to the filling station and fill the tank up to the brim”. There have been others that have gone to the extreme of taking along a few jerry cans to fill up at the same time. Numerous videos and images have been shared of drivers forming long queues at filling stations, causing increased traffic congestion where they are blocking roads.
There is no shortage of fuel, just a shortage of drivers to make deliveries on schedule.
(It would appear there is a shortage of brain cells, or clear logical thinking though)
So think about this for a moment, if motorists head out en-masse to local filling stations just to fill up their tanks and jerry cans, what’s the first thing that happens?
That’s right, those filling stations run out of fuel to supply ahead of schedule. And if their next scheduled delivery has been delayed, then they will end up closing as a result.
It’s a ‘manufactured crisis’, engineered by the media, and the public have fallen for the stunt yet again.
It’s “toilet rolls” all over again.
The truth is that there was always enough fuel to go around for everybody, as long as they kept to their regular buying habits.
I’m willing to bet that very few people have paid any attention to the prices at the pumps. Which have no doubt increased in the days prior to this ‘manufactured crisis’.
So while there was never any shortage of fuel, the response from the public to the media reporting of this will be what ends up causing localised fuel shortages.
The other irony is that motorists who end up driving for miles to find an open filling station, and then sit with their engines idling in a queue to get into that filling station are using up fuel all the time.
There’s definitely a lack of critical and logical thinking amongst the general public…