Telford is a car town - with our expressways and roundabouts Telford is a new town designed for the car. We rely on our cars. The road layout is difficult for pedestrians and for cyclists; public transport is poor.
We need our cars for work, for food shopping, for getting children to school, so it should be no surprise that when we learn some fuel deliveries are delayed, we want to fill up our car.
Telford is a busy town, isolated by a rural hinterland, 50 mins from Birmingham by train which adds to a strong sense of local identity, but it also creates a sense of disconnectedness. We know we are dependent on our cars.
When there is no petrol at the pumps, its no good saying ‘there is no shortage.’ It’s no good blaming the motorist or the media. If you need your car for work, it’s perfectly rational to queue for fuel.
The impact of Covid was always going to take time to unwind. People’s behaviours have fundamentally changed. After such a lengthy shut down the return to normal would never be instantaneous. Pent up demand, disrupted supply chains and shortage of supply in many sectors, is pushing up prices and creating difficulties getting product to the consumer.
Some HGV drivers, having been stood down during lockdown, have now retired, gone home or left the profession. New entrants have not replaced them as training didn't happen, getting tested and securing a licence has been almost impossible due lockdown and now due to industrial action at DVLA. Some drivers are put off by the added bureaucracy. There are shortages of workers in many sectors. Our behaviours have changed, we got off the treadmill, people are reevaluating their lives. We should not be surprised our just in time economy was derailed by the prolonged and painful shut down.
It will take time to fix, but fix it we will - this is no time for complacency. Covid lockdowns have had many complications, some as yet unknown. What we must ensure is that there are no more lockdowns.