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Tracy West: retail commentator

Now that Halloween is out of the way, you can turn your attention to creating some fabulous Christmas displays.

Merril Boulton: editor


James Lowman chief executive, ACS

At the end of September, we put our annual submission into government ahead of the Chancellor's budget, setting out the measures that we believe will help the convenience sector in the coming year. You can read the submission in full on our website. There are three main areas that we want action on. Firstly, we have restated our calls for a proper review of the business rates system. Revised rates bills are still being issued to retailers that are eligible for relief, the online appeals system is essentially broken and hopes of fundamental reform have been kicked into the long grass.

Charlotte Blum: Analysis editor

The effects of Hurricane Harvey initially drove road fuel markets higher in North West Europe after it hit the US Gulf coast on August 25, but only diesel remains tight. Diesel prices have risen from a discount to a premium to gasoline, which has widened the usual UK retail premium of diesel with biofuel to petrol. Much of the refining capacity closed by Harvey reopened, but throughput in the US Gulf was still 1.1mn b/d below pre-Harvey August levels in late September.

Kevin Eastwood: BOSS - executive director

When I meet with forecourt retailers it is not uncommon to be told that they feel the police do not respond when they report incidents. Admittedly how each police force reacts to a report depends on each chief constable who determines how his or her force deploys their resources.

Tracy West: Shop Talk

It's not often nowadays that I get excited about a new product. That's because most aren't really new at all as often they've just been resurrected in new packaging. However, I'm loving the new Tic Tacs I discovered very recently. They're called Breeze, they're sugar free and they come in super-strong flavours. I tried Aniseed and also Eucalyptus there may be others but these were the only ones I saw.

Merril Boulton: editor

Whether it's the right direction or not, we seem to be hurtling towards an electric future as far as automotive transport is concerned, and we at Forecourt Trader will, as always, endeavour to keep you informed of all the latest developments hence the particular focus on the subject in this issue.

Brian Madderson: PRA chairman

The most striking announcement of the summer was from Michael Gove on DEFRA's policy on Clean Air. Conventional petrol and diesel combustion engines are to be banned in new cars from 2040, although hybrids will be permitted. Nevertheless this leaves PRA with much to do to protect and stimulate the interests of our independent forecourt members in the years ahead.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Hurricane Harvey may have poured out its record-breaking deluge 7,500km from here, but it will dominate fuel prices in the UK this month.

David Charman: Parkfoot Garage

So now we know that our beloved petrol stations have an end date, or do they? I have been around this industry all my life, man and boy, and during that time I have witnessed some huge changes in our industry. Back in the early 1970s, I would have been legally able to serve customers before I was tall enough to even reach the till. Most customers bought £1-worth, which was 4.3 gallons (just under 20 litres). The first huge investment was moving customers to 'self-service' and then to buying in litres.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 18 May 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands112.21122.26106.78
North East110.8763.90125.50105.36
North West111.4965.90121.74106.55
Northern Ireland108.30111.90101.84
South East113.30122.65108.11
South West112.20120.84106.51
West Midlands112.13125.92106.81
Yorkshire & Humber111.7057.70123.12106.23

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