Search

Rural petrol stations could close as coronavirus keeps customers away

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 April 2020

The sudden drop in damand caused by the lockdown is putting huge pressure on independent rural petrol stations   Picture: PA Images

The sudden drop in damand caused by the lockdown is putting huge pressure on independent rural petrol stations Picture: PA Images

Archant

Lockdown causes dangerous drop in demand for fuel at smaller garages

Local petrol stations need support from their communities   Picture: Liam McBurney/PALocal petrol stations need support from their communities Picture: Liam McBurney/PA

Motorists are being warned that rural petrol stations are at risk of closure as demand for fuel has significantly decreased since people were told to stay at home because of Covid-19.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says that petrol consumption is down 75pc and diesel by 71pc, with stations in rural areas being hit particularly hard. It could lead to such stations closing “as sales of fuel dry up and their businesses become unviable”.

You may also want to watch:

Gavin Taber, who owns the Roydon Service Station on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, said: “Petrol sales have dropped off by about 70pc. Our convenience store has been very busy and we’ve had fantastic support from our local customers – but the petrol sales are very bad at the moment.”

The PRA says it is working to keep “a strategic network of petrol stations open across the country” and encourages motorists to support their local station but to check it is open before going to fill up.

On top of reduced demand, the PRA says some forecourts are facing staff shortages as employees fall ill, self-isolate or look after vulnerable relatives. Smaller petrol stations also face fierce competition from supermarkets offering big discounts because their footfall has been so much higher recently.

This is on top of the biggest fall in petrol prices for 12 years, with further cuts expected in the coming weeks. The PRA has also called on the government to step in and instruct fuel suppliers to give independent stations the same 60-day credit terms they offer to supermarkets. It warns that inflexible delivery loads and credit terms by suppliers aren’t helping struggling independent garages.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star