This comes hours after ministers said there are “no plans at the moment” to deploy troops.
The government has asked the military to be ready to help ease Britain’s growing fuel crisis – hours after ministers said there are “no plans at the moment” to use troops to power petrol tankers “.
The government announced Monday night that Army tanker drivers would be kept in a “ready state” in preparation for deployment to reduce chaos at the petrol court.
Military drivers will now receive specialized training in preparation for their possible deployment. Reports suggested that more than 500 troops could be drafted.
An extension of the ADR driver’s license was also announced allowing drivers to maximize their available potential instead of being taken out of circulation for refresher training purposes.
The move comes after several filling stations dried up after drivers splashed water for pumps amid fears that shortage of tanker drivers would affect supplies.
Throughout the day there were scenes of people using unlikely storage containers to get more and more petrol, as panic spread across the country.
High street retailer Halfords revealed that it had registered a 17-fold increase in the number of so-called “Jerry Cans” sold over the weekend compared to the same period a week earlier.
The move on the military came despite Environment Secretary George Eustice saying Monday morning that the military would only be used to help with training.
“We don’t have any plans at the moment to bring in the military to actually drive,” he said.
The government said the army’s tanker drivers would deliver fuel where it would be most needed and the supplies would be strong.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our armed forces are ready to ease transport pressure where they are felt most.
“That’s why I have authorized their increased preparedness so that they are ready to respond when needed.”
Trade Secretary Quasi Quarteng, who issued military aid to civilian authorities’ request, said: “While the fuel industry expects demand to return to its normal levels in the coming days, it is only right that we take this sensible, precautionary measure.
Earlier, in a joint statement, major suppliers including BP, Esso and Shell said many cars now contain more petrol than usual should pressure begin to ease at stations.