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Merril Boulton: editor

The drive towards a growing UK car parc of electric vehicles is gathering momentum by the day, particularly with last month's Queen's Speech in which the government reinforced its determination to develop the electric and hydrogen-powered vehicle sector (see News Extra, page 10).

James Lowman: ACS chief executive

After such an unexpected (for most) General Election result, it's no surprise that Theresa May followed up with a scaled-down Queen's Speech.  But within the speech, there was still one important piece of legislation mentioned that will have direct implications for the forecourt sector. That was the Automated and Electric Vehicles (AEV) Bill. One of the consequences of the outcome of the General Election was that many of the Bills that were in progress during the previous parliament had to either be reintroduced or scrapped altogether. The AEV Bill is an example of the former, essentially consisting of a copy and paste of the Vehicle Technology Aviation Bill (VTAB) that had reached Committee Stage in the House of Commons before the election.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Crude futures prices fell below $45/bl at one point in June for the first time since November, as demand growth has been slow. UK retail prices are following with their usual lag. In a sign that rebalancing the market is proving harder than first thought, Opec members are starting to talk about possible deeper cuts.

Merril Boulton: editor

There's been a lot of worrying stuff in the news recently and I'm not talking about the campaign for the General Election, which will be done and dusted by the time anyone reads this. Whatever your persuasion we will, of course, have to make the best of the outcome, but at least we won't have to bear the ugly sight of potential candidates and audiences catfighting on the TV any more.

Brian Madderson: chairman PRA

As I write this, if the pollsters are correct, the 'blues' will continue to form the government. Mrs May has run her campaign on the mantra of 'strong and stable' leadership but, when back in office, will she take the opportunity to change her Cabinet? We have already had rapid personnel changes over recent years and there have even been changes to entire departments with the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) being subsumed into the revamped Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) only last year.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

On May 26, Opec and 10 non-Opec countries decided to extend their production restraint for a further nine months to the end of March 2018. But the battle between producers wanting to increase prices and those fighting for market share continues, and weak prices and large swings betray the market's uncertainty over who will set the price in the future.

David Charman: chairman CWA

Our industry is facing cost increases on an unprecedented scale. Firstly, the living wage increase has impacted us all. And this challenge, I believe, is by far and away the biggest we will face in the coming years. But hot on its heels is the huge business rates increase that many of us will have to pay.

Tracy West: Shop Talk

Most independent businesses trade on their personal service knowing their regular customers, chatting to them and generally keeping them happy. But what about recommendations? This is something I think more independents should do more of.

Merril Boulton: editor

Chris Hunt: UKPIA director general

Well, here we go again! The Prime Minister has fired the starting gun for a General Election, the sound of which has startled many people. It would seem that we have had an overabundance of politics over the past 18 months, what with the Labour party trying to sort itself out, the whole Brexit campaign resulting in the previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigning in July 2016 and Theresa May stepping up to the plate. There have also been local government elections and the US Presidential race that seemed to go on forever, all of which has resulted in endless media coverage and comment no wonder we are suffering from 'political brain fade'!

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 24 February 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands127.70137.72124.65
North East125.92136.20122.89
North West126.8567.57135.95124.01
Northern Ireland124.76130.73121.98
South East128.6564.90139.38125.39
South West127.77135.04124.41
West Midlands127.58140.14124.60
Yorkshire & Humber126.87137.50123.73

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Has the Government's shock announcement to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles - as well as hybrids - to 2035 or even earlier caused concern and disruption to your future forecourt development plans?

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