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Filling station bosses condemn ‘unacceptable’ abuse of forecourt staff

Filling station bosses condemn ‘unacceptable’ abuse of forecourt staff
The Petrol Retailers Association said pressure at the pumps is ‘easing’ but staff face high levels of verbal and physical abuse.

Petrol station staff are being subjected to “unacceptable” levels of abuse, the industry has warned, despite a continued easing of pressure on the forecourts.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said its latest survey of its members found just over one-in-four had run dry, down from more than a third on Tuesday.

Ministers said they expected the situation to improve further, with the first troops driving tankers expected to appear on the roads “in the next couple of days”.

But despite the appeals to the motorists to fill up as normal, PRA executive director Gordon Balmer said forecourt staff were being subjected to a “high level” of both physical and verbal abuse from frustrated motorists.

“There are encouraging signs that the crisis at the pumps is easing, with forecourts reporting that they are taking further deliveries of fuel," 彼は言った.

"しかしながら, we are extremely disappointed to hear many forecourt staff are experiencing a high level of both verbal and physical abuse, which is completely unacceptable.”

His warning comes amid reports of fights breaking out on forecourts with, in one case, footage appearing on social media of a man wielding a knife, as tempers boiled over during the long waits to fill up.

ついさっき, ビジネスセクレタリー クワシ・クワーテン said the situation appeared to be “stabilising” with most people “behaving quite responsibly”.

Supplies are still restricted at some filling stations (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

As well as deploying troops, he said the 政府 was sending out vehicles from its reserve tanker fleet, driven by civilian drivers, to provide “additional logistical capacity” to the industry.

“It takes, 時々, a few days to get troops on the ground.

“We have decided to do that.

“I think in the next couple of days you will see some soldiers driving tankers,” he said in a pooled clip for broadcasters.

Altogether 150 military drivers, together with 150 drivers’ mates, have been on standby since Monday to carry out deliveries to filling stations.

It followed reports that a shortage of tanker drivers was threatening supplies, prompted a wave of panic buying, with long queues for petrol and filling stations running dry.

Despite the assurances from ministers, Steve McNamara general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association in ロンドン said there was little sign of the situation improving on the ground.

“Contrary to Boris Johnson’s wish list, it is not getting better,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“The situation is that 25% に 30% of our members were not at work yesterday, and unable get fuel to go to work, and a taxi driver without fuel is unemployed.”

Meanwhile the retail fashion giant Next said shortages would continue to plague the wider economy in the run-up to Christmas unless the Government took action to address the “looming skills crisis”.

It said the shortage of HGV drivers had been “widely predicted for many months” and called on ministers to relax the immigration rules to avoid further shortfalls.

“We anticipate that, without some relaxation of immigration rules, we are likely to experience some degradation in our service in the run-up to Christmas," と言いました.

“For the sake of the wider UK economy, we hope that the Government will take a more decisive approach to the looming skills crisis in warehouses, レストラン, ホテル, care homes and many seasonal industries.

“A demand-led approach to ensuring the country has the skills it needs is now vital.”

The call came as figures from the 運輸省 showed there was a backlog of more than 56,000 applications for vocational driving licences, including HGV and bus, permits waiting to be processed.

Ministers have blamed the pandemic which led to the cancellation last year of tens of thousands of tests.

Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that measures were being put in to ensure “all parts of our supply chain”, not just petrol, were able to “get through to Christmas and beyond”.

同時に, しかしながら, he said he was not prepared to address labour shortages through “uncontrolled immigration” leading to a “low wage, low skill” economy.