Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Illegal fuel plant raided in Northern Ireland

A diesel laundering plant and an illegal filling station have been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in County Down, Northern Ireland.

MEPs vote to tighten tobacco legislation

New European proposals to tighten tobacco regulations have been criticised as excessive by the tobacco industry, while some MEPs complained that they had been watered down.

RAC praises petrol retailers for passing on savings

The RAC has praised petrol retailers for passing on savings on lower wholesale fuel prices to their customers, and predicted prices could fall to their lowest level for over a year in the next two weeks.

Motorists urged to take responsibility for oil

PRA to hold forum in Farnham

The PRA’s next Regional Forum is being held in Farnham, Surrey, on Wednesday 16th October.

Brian Madderson
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Warning to forecourts over Grangemouth unrest

Forecourts supplied by the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland are being advised to take precautions to try to maintain supplies in case the current industrial unrest at the site escalates into strike action.

European vote to limit cars' CO2 emissions deferred

An EU vote to approve to introduce a new limit on CO2 emissions from cars been delayed for a third time following pressure from Germany. An agreement had been reached in June on a limit of 95 grams of CO2 per km for cars for 2020 and the Parliament was expected to rubber stamp the deal. The vote has been rescheduled for October 14.

Merril Boulton: Leading by example

Firstly, many congratulations to all the finalists and winners at last month's glittering awards ceremony (full report starts on page 45). Particular praise goes, of course, to this year's Forecourt Trader of the Year winners, Zuber and Mohsin Issa of Euro Garages, who were too modest to come up on stage to collect their award as it was announced, but encouraged members of their much-valued staff to be recognised for their considerable achievements.

GB Oils renamed to reflect growth plans

GB Oils, the UK's largest independent fuels and lubricant distributor, is to be called Certas Energy UK Ltd.

Euro winners

Euro Garages staff took to the stage again this year as they lifted the top trophy for the second time. The company's commercial director Ilyas Munshi (pictured centre left) and head of operations Salim Hasan (centre right), were presented with the Forecourt Trader of the Year award by editor Merril Boulton and celebrity host Jon Culshaw at the prestigious event at the London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane last month. For a full rundown including pictures of the winners turn to page 45.

Asda cuts its prices twice in five days

Asda cut its fuel prices for the second time in five days last week, after a substantial reduction by Sainsbury threatened to undercut it.

Weyhill blast thief is jailed

A thief who took part in a raid where the Texaco filling station at Weyhill in Hampshire was blown up causing £165,000 of damage has been jailed for three and a half years.

MRH Retail rolls out Hursts

MRH Retail's new store brand Hursts has been rolled out to 35 stores since three pilot stores were successfully launched in March, managing director John Lynn has told Forecourt Trader, with 100 sites expected by spring 2014.

Forecourts pick up for John Lewis

Petrol stations will be acting as collection points for online customers of John Lewis as part of a trial it is running.

in brief

Costco wins consent

Tuffins beats the mults with a great fuel offer

An independent supermarket is outdoing the multiples' headline-grabbing money-off deals on fuel. Paul Delves, the former managing director of the 10-store Harry Tuffins group which was bought by the Co-op, is back in business and is offering vouchers giving 15p off per litre of fuel, up to 50 litres, for customers who spend £75 in store.

Murco extends its deal with Costcutter

Murco Petroleum and Costcutter Supermarkets Group are to continue their partnership with a new three-year contract to supply Murco's 230 company-owned forecourts across the UK. This further extends the relationship between the two companies that began in 1996 and covers both the Murco full supermarket and smaller 'Express' store formats.

James Lowman

At the start of September, we published the Local Shop Report 2013. When we launched the report last year, our primary intention was to inform MPs and government departments about the contribution that local shops make to the economy. We didn't expect that the report would have such a positive impact within the sector itself, with retailers and suppliers giving us incredibly positive feedback about the value of the report.

Healthy growth in profits for Brobot

A strong focus on non-fuel sales has contributed to a healthy growth in profits for Top 50 Indie, Brobot Petroleum Ltd (BPL), part of the Brobot Group Ltd (BGL). It reported an increase in pre-tax profits to £375,215 on sales up 2.9% to £113.9m for the year ending March 31, 2013.

Co-op signs with BOSS

Midland Co-operative Society has signed up to the Payment Watch debt recovery scheme run by the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS). It means the co-operative's 16 forecourt sites have joined the scheme, which puts in place a co-ordinated system for recovering financial losses incurred by 'no means of payment' incidents.

Xmo Strata warns against cost cutting

Financial pressures mean safety procedures are being neglected in some areas of the forecourt sector, according to new research by Kent-based sign installation and maintenance company Xmo Strata.

Drinks system tested

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is investing in a national trial of BevTrac a spring-loaded shelf management system designed to drive on-the-go soft drinks sales as part of a programme that will target 3,000 convenience retailers.

Istobal wins contract

Car wash equipment manufacturer Istobal has announced that it has been awarded a three-year extension to its supply contract with Morrisons.

Caps keep water out

Petroman Environmental Services is launching a simple-to-fit new device that prevents atmospheric water getting into fuel storage tanks and aggravating biofuel problems.

Nestlé Professional launches new generation coffee maker

Nestlé Professional has launched Nescafé Milano Lounge, a new touchscreen self-serve coffee machine that can deliver up to 400 drink varieties for the on-the-go coffee market.

Tokheim eyes award

Tokheim Eye, the forecourt monitoring/control system, has been named a finalist in the Innovation category, in business awards organised by the London borough of Havering.

Codax exhibits wares

PSD Codax, the developer of token-free control systems for car care equipment, will be demonstrating its new generation of payment solutions at the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA) annual exhibition in Coventry on November 7.

Kevin Eastwood - BOSS executive director

Criminals who operate on UK forecourts come in all shapes and sizes, from individual drive-off offenders to organised gangs who steal fuel in bulk. At BOSS we recognise the need to match these shapes and sizes to have a strong deterrent effect or, failing that, to identify, apprehend and bring offenders to justice. That's why we've developed strong partnerships, not only within the industry but across government, law enforcement and with specialist agencies whose expertise supports our drive to tackle forecourt crime.

Right on track

Manchester's EventCity was buzzing last month as hundreds of retailers attending the Costcutter Expo were given an update on the retailer's transition from Nisa to Palmer and Harvey as its major supplier, and The Buyco, the joint venture buying group announced last March.

Beware: Halloween is creeping up on us all

If you haven't yet embraced Halloween in your store, this year is the time to do it. That's because it is now the third biggest seasonal event behind Christmas and Easter and, according to Planet Retail, has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past three years.

Strepsils' extrasupport

A new £2.5m campaign for Strepsils rolls out this month which includes giving consumers the chance to win tickets to The X-Factor Live final.

Rolling out new packs

Imperial Tobacco has unveiled a new pack design for its Drum roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco.

Pussy's petrol gains

Pussy Drinks has said it has made "significant progress" in the forecourt sector so far this year, with new listings in Motor Fuel Group, Park Garages, Penny Petroleum and Aleef. Both Penny Petroleum and Aleef have taken the new £1 price-marked can. In addition, the company has a promotional programme with Palmer & Harvey to help develop brand awareness.

Mountain Dew promo

Britvic Soft Drinks and PepsiCo UK have joined forces with Microsoft for an on-pack promotion to support the launch of Xbox One.

Mid-week Magnums

Magnum has three new snacking lines designed for an indulgent mid-week treat or as something to share with friends and family at weekends.

Seabrook's big night

Seabrook Crisps has teamed up with Sky to give consumers the chance to 'Win a Year of Big Nights In'. Running from the middle of this month, the promotion (on single and multipacks) is giving away full Sky+HD packages with Seabrook crisps. To enter, consumers visit the dedicated online microsite ( and enter their contact details and the code from their promotional pack. A winner will be announced each day with all other entrants placed in a final draw for a second chance to win.

Better-value bottles

Wrigley hopes to grow the gum category with a redesign and new recommended retail price (rrp) for its Extra 60-pellet bottle available now in both peppermint and spearmint. The packs have a lower rrp of £1.99 to offer better value for money.

Shop Talk with Tracy West

Sometimes it would be nice to know what the future holds. Whether the recession is well and truly behind us, for example, or even what the weather will actually do.


BOSS welcomes CPS move to prosecute multiple fuel thieves

BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has welcomed confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it has issued new guidance to lawyers and police forces to prosecute motorists who repeatedly claim to have no-means-of-payment (NMoP).

Rise in new car sales reflects growing economic confidence, says NFDA

New car sales were up 12.1% compared to September last year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Private registrations have risen 16.7% over the year-to-date, helping the overall market rise 10.8%.

Jet targets network growth of 30% by 2018

Plans to boost the number of Jet sites by 30%, and a raft of initiatives aimed at enhancing the brand’s retailer package were announced at this week’s Phillips 66 annual dealer conference, held in the plush surroundings of Gleneagles, Scotland.

Best-one launches retailer loyalty scheme

Best-one, the premium symbol offering from the Bestway Group, has announced a new rebate scheme for retailers, called My Rewards

PRA welcomes Chancellor's duty freeze pledge

The PRA has welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge, in his speech to the Tory Party conference, to freeze fuel duty until the next election in May 2015, meaning that the planned duty rise of 2 pence per litre in September 2014 is unlikely to go ahead.

Move to ease Dartford Crossing applauded by PRA

The announcement that The Highways Agency has awarded a £367m contract to the French motorway operator Sanef, to design and deliver a new free-flow toll system at the Dartford Crossing, has been welcomed by the PRA.

Roadchef provides remote working space

Roadchef has become the latest motorway service operator to sign a partnership deal with the workspace provider Regus.

Forecourt worker robbed at gunpoint

Two men have been arrested by armed police officers after a petrol station worker had what he believed was a gun pointed at him during a robbery.

Smoke traps suspected burglar

A man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after a high-tech anti-intruder device was triggered at the Sainsbury’s petrol station in Cricketers Way, Westhoughton, Bolton, Greater Manchester.

Top 50 Indie wins community award

A Top 50 Indie has made a major contribution to its local community after being presented with a £500 Kingsmill Community Retailer award.

GB Oils renamed Certas Energy UK

GB Oils, the UK’s largest independent fuels and lubricant distributor, is to be called Certas Energy UK Ltd.

Ireland's Topaz spends €8m on two motorway sites

Ireland’s largest convenience and fuel retailer Topaz has announced details of an €8m investment in two new motorway sites.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 13 May 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands134.3163.90142.71128.51
North East133.45141.14128.34
North West133.87139.66128.19
Northern Ireland131.69134.87127.12
South East135.1064.90141.55129.70
South West134.4267.90138.19129.02
West Midlands134.0264.90141.51128.62
Yorkshire & Humber133.3863.90141.59128.06

Most read

Following the response by Sainsbury's and Asda to the CMA's damning provisional findings on their proposed merger, do you agree with the PRA's assessment that their proposed solutions to the concerns could result in hundreds of forecourt closures?