All Columnists articles

  • Ft - Jac Roper - Service Centre

    Service Centre: Jac Roper celebrates 25 years helping you out


    Jac Roper on a rusty pump issue; password problems and cowboy rating firms

  • FT - Robert Botkai partner Winckworth Sherwood

    Legal advice: Changes in working practices and what the ‘new norm’ might look like


    Our ‘legal doctor’ Robert Botkai discusses changes in working practices and what the ‘new norm’ might look like

  • FT - Brian Madderson, PRA chairman

    Contact with BEIS helps our cause


    During the pandemic lockdown, PRA was one of the few industry trade associations to be invited to a fortnightly fuel review with the Downstream Oil Industry Forum (DOIF) and have daily contact with the Energy Resilience Unit at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

  • Article

    Money Talk: Navigating stormy waters


    It’s probably fair to say that six months ago none of us really believed that as we head into autumn the single topic dominating business in the UK would still be Covid-19 (-whatever happened to “Brexit”?).

  • FT - Robert Botkai partner Winckworth Sherwood

    A moment of reflection


    As we approach the August Bank Holiday I thought it opportune for a moment of reflection on what has been a momentous few months. Petrol retailers have responded brilliantly to the challenges of Covid-19. As a sector you have demonstrated flexibility. You have changed product ranges. ...

  • Article

    Service Centre: Jac Roper on drive-offs, delivery problems; and crowdfunding success


    We, the retailers, are stuck in the middle as police would not take any action and at the same time we cannot get anywhere with DVLA to obtain the car owners’ details. But there is a middle way which has proven very effective in the past.

  • FT - Robert Botkai partner Winckworth Sherwood

    Another round of regulation and guidance


    We have had such a plethora of regulation and guidance over the last four months, now those living in Leicester have the dubious honour of being subject to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) Regulations 2020.

  • Article

    Money Talk: We’re all still picking up the pieces


    Just for a moment, let’s forget the more pessimistic predictions about a ‘second wave’ of Covid-19, and instead look at where business is today.

  • Article

    Forecourt crime is all too familiar


    Today forecourt crime is an all too familiar occurrence and our data suggests that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the rate at which it is increasing. 

  • Article

    What does gradual easing of restrictions mean for you?


    At the end of June, we saw the Prime Minister outline the government’s plans for the next stage of changes to lockdown measures in England. 

  • Article

    The support for hydrogen technology is building


    There are not many positive things to have come out of the Covid-19 pandemic – indeed the headline losses, both human and financial, are an appalling tragedy.

  • Article

    Service Centre: Jac Roper on fuel theft, ATM fixed in record time; and a lottery ‘glitch’


    My family owns a forecourt in Northants (Billing Service Station) and we have had issues with drive-offs in the past which we report to the police

  • Article

    Money Talk: Covid-19 - has it seen off cash on the forecourt?


    Coming into June, and the first stringent phase of lockdown is lifting and being replaced by – confusion. During the initial panic the instructions were reasonably clear: stay at home other than for very limited exceptions

  • FT - Robert Botkai partner Winckworth Sherwood

    The laws – they are (always) a-changin’!


    The Business and Planning Bill was expected to be considered in Parliament on Monday June 29 2020 with a view to it becoming law the next day. I am now told that it will be considered in the House of Lords on July 6 and it then needs to go back to the Commons. So we are looking at mid-end of July at the earliest.

  • Article

    Money Talk: Don’t expect to be back to ‘normal’ any time soon


    Another month brings another set of ‘relaxed’ rules telling us how we’re all now supposed to interact in public, along with the very welcome news that the hospitality sector – or at least whatever is left of it – is allowed to open after three months of shutdown.

  • Article

    Changing habits in lockdown


    They say that eating habits have changed during the Coronavirus lockdown and it seems that’s true when it comes to our taste in sandwiches. According to a poll of 2,000 adults undertaken by bread brand Warburtons, last year’s favourite sandwich cheese has been replaced by bacon. It seems whether they’re ...

  • Article

    Important distinction between 'law' and 'guidance'


    Our ‘Legal Doctor’ Robert Botkai discusses guidance versus law

  • Article

    Unscrupulous operators ignore guidance


    Media attention has increasingly focused on unregulated re-openings of hand car washes (HCWs) after several weeks of COVID-19 lockdown. Car wash customer expectations have changed during the pandemic possibly for good. HCWs will now be expected to demonstrate that customers’ safety is taken seriously by visibly complying with government guidelines. ...

  • Article

    A terrible toll - but can coronavirus damage be repaired?


    Oil prices staged a minor recovery in May as major global economies tentatively emerge from lockdown. Oil demand has fallen by more than 20 mn b/d in the last three months, and the industry continues to face a murky future. Oil producing heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Russia have over-delivered ...

  • Article

    Retailer initiatives make the difference


    When the lockdown commenced in March, fuel volumes across the UK literally went over the cliff with reports from PRA members advising of 80-90% reductions in some rural areas. The average reduction was 60-65%, which was enough to produce financial shock waves for many companies. The swift action by ...