Although earning a living driving commercial vehicles up and down the main arteries of the UK’s road system can be quite a humdrum business a lot of the time, at least very few van drivers in the UK will be able to say the run up to Christmas 2010 was boring.
After enduring floods in early November the ice, snow and generally Arctic weather conditions of the past two weeks will have left hardly a van driver in the country without a tale to tell. Digging out of snowdrifts, ferrying pedestrians, sharing drinks with fellow drivers in the middle of nowhere while waiting for the emergency services. All these things have happened in abundance in places all over the UK. From Cornwall in the South to the tip of Scotland in the frozen North van drivers have struggled to earn their wages.
To cap it all the stories for the last couple of weeks of 2010 may well involve tales of running out of fuel while making a delivery and paying the highest price ever for a refuel. As attempts are made to get life back to normal in Scotland, delivery drivers and haulage contractors are now looking at a fuel shortage.
For drivers who are bound to have lost earnings over the last couple of weeks the irony of the situation may well be that now the Government have managed to sort out the chaos on the roads, no-one will be able to drive about because of the lack of fuel. Over 300 garages have reported either running out of fuel completely or that they are on very low supplies after the aftermath of last week’s snowfall. Scotland is desperate for fuel deliveries.
To make matters worse reports of petrol stations profiteering on the situation by inflating their prices are emanating from all over the UK as well as Scotland. It seems many garages are adding 1p per litre day after day and as the price of a barrel of crude oil hits record levels. It seems a foregone conclusion that van drivers will be paying a record price for filling up long before Santa Claus sets off from Lapland. And how many van drivers over the last few weeks must have mused while they were stuck in snow drifts, exactly what the commercial vehicle insurance cost would be on a sleigh!