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Merril Boulton: editor

It promises to be a significantly more memorable festive season than usual what with the election, the political noise and 'who knows what' will follow. UKPIA director general Stephen Marcos (see news page 3 and Forecourt Trader website) has called this election "one of the most important for generations", and how right he is. There is so much uncertainty - what will happen as regards our relationship with the EU, the economic policies of the new government and the increasingly prevailing issues about climate change?

Tracy West: retail commentator

Did any of you catch the story about the reporter from Hull who ate forecourt food for five days? Not only did it appear in the Hull local papers but it was picked up by the national dailies with headlines about how expensive and unhealthy the food was.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

A question I and many other people in the industry are being asked more and more frequently is whether to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points. But I am not qualified to answer whether EV charging is a financially viable option to install on petrol forecourts, and from what I hear there are a multitude of factors to be considered. However, through my position within the Petrol Retailers Association and roles on the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG) and the Energy Institute, Service Station Panel, I have found myself to be well informed on whether EV charging can be installed compliantly and safely alongside the storage and dispensing of traditional hydrocarbon vehicle fuels.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

Oil prices have stabilised around the $60/bl mark after shrugging off the effects of the drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities on September 14.

Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

New labels were added to your fuel pumps recently, as new rules require each pump to have either an E5 label for petrol or B7 label for diesel.

Merril Boulton: editor

So it's 'Bonjour' all round as the Total brand returns to the UK, following its deal with Harvest Energy (see News page 4 and Forecourt Trader website).

Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS

During the past 12 months forecourt retailers have been taking on more responsibility to help tackle forecourt crime and, in particular, drive-offs. Greater involvement is necessary because police forces need our help.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

The drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities on September 14 drove oil prices sharply higher, but the rapid restoration of Saudi exports helped limit the gains.

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

We recently launched our 2019 Forecourt Report, which looks at the latest developments in the sector and how fuel retailers have been responding to these changes. One ongoing development that has been a hot topic among customers and businesses has been electric vehicles. This year's report has shown that while there are now around 230,000 plug-in cars and vans on UK roads, forecourts currently provide 1,083 charging points. The decision to put in an electric charging point on a forecourt remains a difficult one, especially with the pace of change of technology and the speed of charging developing constantly. Retailers will be forgiven for wanting to wait so that the tech they do invest in doesn't become redundant within years or even months.

Merril Boulton: editor

No apologies for devoting half of this issue to the Forecourt Trader Awards! I think the nation's hard-working forecourt retailers deserve a bit of recognition once in a while don't you? Because the awards ceremony itself is not just a chance for a great night out  - and being photographed in a range of fancy adornments in the photo booth! - but it's also about getting together with friends and colleagues and reflecting on the great achievements of the sector, how it's evolved and continues to innovate in order to adapt to changing market conditions.

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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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