Great Britain

Supply chain crisis - live: Emergency visas ‘not enough’ to tackle shortages, amid panic-buying chaos at pumps

Timelapse footage shows how long motorists queue for fuel

The government’s plans to recruit 5,000 lorry drivers to tackle Britain’s supply chain crisis have been criticised as “insufficient” and “too little, too late” after panic buying hit petrol stations across the country.

Business groups said the temporary visa scheme - which also extends to 5,500 poultry workers and is due to run out on Christmas Eve - were the equivalent of “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire.”

It came after retailers warned ministers had just 10 days to save Christmas from significant disruption due to the shortage of up to 100,000 HGV drivers across the UK.

Motorists were still scrambling to find fuel on Sunday morning as suppliers struggled to keep up with increased demand. Some ambulance workers and carers have reported difficulties in finding fuel over the weekend amid warnings that the situation is “going to get worse before its better”.

Follow the latest developments in our live coverage below

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HGV driver visa plan ‘too little, too late’

Marc Fels, director of the HGV Recruitment Centre, has described the plans to offer temporary visas to 5,000 foreign lorry drivers as “too little” and “too late”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Every additional driver that is coming into the sector at the moment is going to be of benefit.

“But I feel this is too little, because the numbers coming in, 5,000, is not going to make a very large dent on the 90,000-100,000 that we are perceived to be short.

“And too late because we have been understanding these problems have been coming as early as April this year, so we are moving into October and only now are the Government coming up with these solutions when this has been an issue since April.”

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Emergency visas ‘insufficient’ to solve supply chain crisis, say business groups

Last night the government confirmed that it would issue temporary visas to 5,000 foreign lorry drivers and 5,500 poultry workers in a bid to tackle Britain’s supply chain crisis.

Transport secretary said the scheme would run out on Christmas Eve and also outlined plans to increase the number of HGV tests taking place.

However business groups criticised the move as “insufficient” to prevent Christmas from being hit by disruption and compared it to “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire”.

The hunt is on to also find 5,500 poultry staff to tackle shortages – but visas will only ‘be valid until 24 December’

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the UK’s supply chain crisis caused by the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK.

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