Ed Davey: Prioritise NHS and care workers for fuel

The government must ensure that health and care staff, teachers and other essential workers are given priority access to fuel, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has said.

The former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change warned that the government mustn’t “allow their incompetence to damage people’s health and undermine our children’s education.”

It comes amid a warning from the British Medical Association that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Nurses and doctors are struggling to get to work, vulnerable people are going without their carers and teachers are warning schools may be forced to close.

“The government must urgently intervene and give NHS and other key workers priority access to fuel, to keep essential services running while ministers finally get to grips with this crisis.

“The Conservatives cannot allow their incompetence to damage people’s health and undermine our children’s education. They need to start taking responsibility for this mess instead of blaming everyone but themselves.

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  • …………Ed Davey: Prioritise NHS and care workers for fuel…………..

    In practice, How?

    Except for having ‘NHS/Care worker only’ entrances on filling stations everyone joins on the end of a queue. Even cars queuing in single file causes problems on roads outside filling stations; another ‘line’ would cause chaos” Opening early/late for special caes is impracticable..
    The alternative would be for every hospital/care home to have it’s own petrol/diesel outlet..

    Easy to say impossible to implement..

  • Helen Dudden 28th Sep '21 - 10:49am

    Someone, someone somewhere has to take control of the situation.

  • Jason Connor 28th Sep '21 - 4:35pm

    I just think that’s putting the people who work in the petrol stations under extra pressure. They are already dealing with a very difficult situation managing the pumps and trying to stop people turning up and jumping the queue, fights even as forecourts have so many different entrances. I do feel for them. Why make their jobs even harder with staff then users are genuine NHS staff and care workers. It’s up to the government to deal with the lorry driver shortage and the media to stop creating panic buying with their constant reports of petrol stations running out of fuel and queues.

  • It would be very easy to nominate one petrol station in each area (rural areas might be a problem) just for health and care workers etc.
    I despair of some of the above comments.

  • Nonconformistradical 29th Sep '21 - 8:48am

    @Andy Hyde
    Nominating one fuel station in an area for key workers is the easy part.

    What would you do when non-key worker motorists come to such a station and abuse the staff or key workers trying to get fuel?

    PLenty of reports about an incident where a motorist appears to have pulled a knife when another motorist appeared to be queue jumping.

  • Andy Hyde 29th Sep ’21 – 8:34am……..It would be very easy to nominate one petrol station in each area (rural areas might be a problem) just for health and care workers etc.
    I despair of some of the above comments………….

    First sentence ‘it’s easy’. and ‘a problem’.. Should a nominated petrol station only serve H&C workers all day; being without customers for most of the time and who pays them for the hundreds of lost customers? Nonconformistradical has already pointed out another major problem.
    If they open for an ‘special hour’, e.g 6-7am, how does that help H&C workers whose ‘shifts’ or sleep times exclude them from that one hour? And, again, who volunteers to man the station in extra hours and who pays them?

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

    It now seems that 150 army drivers will fill the gap. So, with the 5,000 special 10 week visas, our troubles will be over; Not…
    It has been 5 years since the Brexit vote and NOTHING has been done to plan for the obvious problems caused by the exit..Perhaps, as they were all dismissed as ‘project fear’, is a major factor in the government’s lack of planning.. More ‘too little too late’

    When the ship is sinking it’s too late for lifeboat drills..

  • How?
    There are already measures in place for prioritising fuel for medical or other essential needs like food supply.

    The Civil Contingencies Act empowers Local Authorities to control the supply of fuels.
    The body through which this is done are the Local Resilience Forums. The LRFs in each area have procedures to prioritise fuel through designated service stations.

    The problem though is that they can prioritise, but they can’t magic the stuff to be delivered from the refineries.

  • David Goble 29th Sep '21 - 4:34pm

    My feeling is that nothing will be done about the situation; this Prime Minister and this Cabinet will not make a decision about anything! I feel sorry for the Army; I don’t think they joined the Armed Forces to be a Labour Corps to bail out an indecisive and incompetent Government.

  • Mario Caves 29th Sep ’21 – 12:30pm….

    To use the Civil Contingencies Act nationally (Level 2.) would require the government to declare a national emergency…No chance of this happening in this case..The political fallout would be a disaster..
    This government refuses to even accept that there is a serious fuel shortage at petrol stations and blames it on ‘panic buying’..Their advice late last friday was just “go to another petrol station”..

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