Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Thursday 30 September 2021

Bozo’s Reserve Tanker Fleet ISN’T

The continuing shortage of motor vehicle fuel at locations where vehicle owners and drivers tend to need it - like filling stations - has now become so serious that someone in the Government is going to take action. The problem is that, as so often with alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude, the action that is going to be taken is more PR guff than actually doing anything.

Kwasi Kwarteng MP

As the BBC has reported, “The government's reserve tanker fleet was being deployed on Wednesday afternoon to boost fuel deliveries, the business secretary said. Civilians were driving the trucks from their depots in Cambridgeshire and West Yorkshire, Kwasi Kwarteng said. He has also said soldiers would be delivering fuel in the coming days”.

Do go on. “Mr Kwarteng admitted the situation had been ‘difficult’ but denied there was a crisis in UK fuel supplies”. By “difficult”, perhaps he means the fights that have broken out among those queuing for fuel, especially in and around London. But not to worry, “Ministers have decided to deploy troops to drive tankers in ‘the next couple of days’, he said, in addition to the civilians driving them from Wednesday”.

Tesco/Esso forecourt opposite Crewe fire station last weekend. It was still out of fuel yesterday

The Petrol Retailers Association spokesman did not sound totally confident that the Government’s move would clear the problem overnight: "It would take more than ‘a day or a few days’ to fully replenish stocks at all UK forecourts, he said, but there was still ‘plenty to go round’”. And then there is the problem of suitably qualified drivers.

But isn’t an HGV qualification all you need? Apparently not. As a Zelo Street source told me, “Petrol tanker drivers have an ADR qualification as well as a HGV licence. They need this for them to drive petrol tanker lorries … There is a shortage of HGV drivers … however HGV drivers cannot drive a petrol tanker lorry without having an ADR qualification”. You can get more information on the ADR licence HERE.

So the situation is not as straightforward as our free and fearless press would have you believe. Worse, none of our media class seem to have stopped and thought where the civilian drivers would come from. James Doleman did: “And what do these drivers do when they are not called up by the reserve tanker fleet? Is it driving tankers by any chance?”.

The Tweeter known as My Sweet Landlord concurred, adding “There are no reserve tanker drivers. Just tankers. Allegedly” and quoting from the FT: “The Government’s tanker fleet is a pool available to private companies to lease, stored in depots in West Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire. Government insiders said the fleet had not been released before now due to ‘driver availability issues’ among hauliers, since industry is typically expected to provide drivers for the vehicles from their existing workforce”.

Meanwhile, media outlets outside the UK have no compunction in telling their readers exactly what is going on out there, like CNN reporting thatRising energy bills, higher prices and a critical shortage of workers leading to food and fuel supply constraints are threatening to stall Britain's recovery from the pandemic”. The reason being?

Although shortages, supply chain delays and rising food and energy costs are affecting several major economies … Britain is suffering more than most because of Brexit”. And the suffering won’t be ended by the shuffling of the tanker driver pack. No change there.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at



Anonymous said...

Suck it up, tory voters.

You daft cunts.

Who Looks After Them? said...

There must be hidden costs involved with Johnson's Cabinet Ministers. Hidden costs such as social workers, special needs advisors, bottom wipers, clothes dressers.

Pendragon said...

As HGV drivers in (say) the Netherlands retire, they need to be replaced---so I can well understand that countries in the EU are suffering driver shortages as Covid delays the testing of new drivers just like it is in the UK.
So are there queues for fuel in France? Are there gaps on supermarket shelves in Belgium? It seems highly likely that Mail/Express/Sun photographers are combing the EU for queues to photograph in order to show the folks back home that the EU is suffering from the same problems as the UK.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

What is it with these shark eyed drones. All these supposedly clever people who appear to have no competence in anything other than passing exams and moneygrubbing. Whilst possessing the warmth and empathy of a praying mantis.

Mr Larrington said...

@Pendragon: according to Reuters

Germany does not see any sign that it could face the same kind of fuel shortages suffered in Britain, a spokesperson for the economy ministry said on Wednesday. "We do not see any shortages in Germany," the spokesperson told a government news conference. "The supply situation is good, security is high."

So that'd be a “No”, then. I wonder what's making the difference…

Mr Larrington said...

One of my Sinister Agents inside the NHS tells me that the gubbinsment are writing to paramedics inviting them to become lorry drivers.

Satire: d. 1st October 2021, after a long illness.

Pendragon said...

@MrLarrington: Thank you for the information about the petrol situation in Germany. I suspected that the Mail/Express/Sun were not telling us inconvenient facts. A public deprived of information is then much more likely to believe the Conservative government's spin.