Weekly forecourt fuel sales have begun to increase again after the recovery in business stalled during August, and traffic volumes have also increased and are nearing pre-lockdown levels.

The latest weekly figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that for the week ending September 20 sales increased to 92% of their pre-lockdown level.

Sales were up 1.3% on the previous week, and average Diesel sales and Petrol sales were were both 92% of a typical week before lockdown, with average daily sales of 9,610 litres of diesel and 6,690 litres of petrol giving a daily total of 16,300 litres.

In the eight weeks prior to the lockdown on March 23 average daily sales were 17,690 litres per filling station, with a peak of 20,983 on Friday February 28. After the lockdown they fell rapidly bottoming out at 2,522 litres on Sunday April 12.

Until August 2 sales climbed steadily reaching a daily average of 15,570 litres (88% of pre-lockdown levels), but for the rest of that month sales remained at around that level.

The figures from BEIS are based on end of the day snapshots of petrol and diesel sales and stock levels from a sample of around 4,500 filling stations across Great Britain.

However, the fuel volumes are collected primarily from oil companies, supermarkets and very large independent filling stations, and this results in higher daily average figures than if all independent volumes were included.

Daily traffic volume figures from the Department for Transport have also continued their upward climb. During the period Monday to Friday September 14-18 light commercial vehicle (LCV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic both exceeded pre-lockdown levels every day with LCVs averaging between 100% and 105% and HGVs at 102% to 105%.

Cars lagged behind however, at 89% to 95% over the same period, and the combined figures for all three transport types varied between 93% and 97%.