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Merril Boulton: editor

Just in case you thought you knew all you needed to know about the timescale for the transition to EVs, along comes, pardon the pun, a bit of a shock. The government, under huge pressure from powerful global eco lobbies to 'do more' about the 'climate emergency' has reacted. Wanting to be seen to be setting an example to the world, it announced last month that it plans to bring forward the date for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, or even earlier. The real sting in the tail is that the ban would also apply to hybrids (see News Extra, page 10), which had been seen as something of a reassurance to the fuel retailing sector in that a certain amount of traditional automotive fuel would still be required for years to come.

Tracy West: retail commentator

Did you see the story about people in Newcastle queuing to get their hands on Greggs' new Vegan Steak Bake? According to The Sun, the first person in the queue waited six hours for the midnight unveiling of the meat- and dairy-free snack.

Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS

This year BOSS will be celebrating the first decade of BOSS Payment Watch and our research indicates that since it was established, we've helped forecourt retailers to prevent and recover £100m of losses from forecourt crime.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

Oil prices gained steadily through December before the assassination of leading Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3 took Ice Brent futures to $69.50/bl for the first time since attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure in September.

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

The start of the new year is often a time when we reflect on the events of the past 12 months and look ahead to what the next year may hold both in terms of opportunities and challenges.

Editor: Merril Boulton

Happy New Year to one and all. Hope everything went well and you all enjoyed a successful festive period on your forecourts. Generally the outlook for the New Year looks pretty good for the forecourt convenience sector (see News Extra, page 10).

Tracy West: retail commentator

We all know that we should be doing more to cut down on waste, whether it's packaging or food, but I fear one organisation has gone too far. reckons it's time to ban Christmas dinner as it estimates that 150,000 tonnes of it ends up in landfill. Press releases with claims like these are obviously issued to garner publicity and it definitely caught my eye.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)

Dame Sara Thornton, the recently appointed Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has published her first Strategic Plan 2019-2021. The plan focuses on improving victim care and support, supporting law enforcement and prosecution, concentrating on prevention and getting value from research and innovation. Here are its main points with particular reference to car washing:

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

International oil markets edged higher in November as winter heating demand kicked in. But crude oil still looked well supplied ahead of an Opec meeting on December 5 in Vienna, when the cartel will consider production levels in concert with key producers such as Russia.

Brian Madderson: PRA chairman

It is clear that many people around the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the negative impact of Climate Change and that fossil fuels are seen by politicians, medics and environmentalists as a primary cause. Social media has been a powerful tool affecting this rapid change in outlook.

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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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