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Tracy West: retail commentator

Not sure if you noticed it, but last month Cadbury launched a new chocolate bar.

Merril Boulton: editor

The skies above the fuel retailing sector are busy with activity as the powers that be set about making decisions that will influence the structure of the industry well into the future. How much of it amounts to dark thunder clouds on the horizon, and how much potential rays of sunshine has yet to emerge.

Brian Madderson: PRA chairman

If the Road to Zero plan finally published by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Clean Air Strategy published by the Department for Food, Rural Affairs and Environment (DEFRA) together with the demonisation of diesel were not sufficient worries for the UK fuels retailing industry, the proposed £12bn merger of Sainsbury's and Asda plus MFG's £1.2bn acquisition of MRH just add to future uncertainty.

Charlotte Blum: Analysis editor

UK road fuel prices are at their highest for four years, underpinned by high crude prices and robust middle distillates demand. US trade policy and its ramifications, as well as supply expectations, again dominated the market, pushing prices first down, then up again in the past month.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)

The Car Wash Association has been lobbying the government directly and through media campaigns during the summer months on the subject of non-compliant hand car washes (HCWs). The aim is to motivate the government and its various stakeholder agencies to inform, encourage and where necessary, oblige illegal HCWs to comply with human trafficking and modern slavery laws as well as to adhere to employment, fiscal and environmental regulations.

Tracy West: retail commentator

So the mighty Coca-Cola has gobbled up Costa Coffee in a £3.9bn deal. Wow. News reports say it's a win-win good news for Costa as the brand can expand further globally and good for Coke as it takes them into hot beverages.

Merril Boulton: Editor

Important to stay braced and focused on the positive when opening the sizeable tome that is the government's newly published 'Road to Zero' strategy (see News Extra, page 10). Perhaps read it in small chunks with a nice glass of something so that you don't blow too many gaskets in the same sitting.

Stephen Marcos Jones: UKPIA director general

Last month, the government published its long-awaited Road to Zero strategy, setting out its proposed approach to reduce emissions from UK road transport. The strategy sets out government's ambition to see more ultra-low emission cars on UK roads by 2030 at least 50% and as many as 70% of new car sales by 2030 alongside up to 40% of sales of new vans during the same period. The strategy also confirms government's intention to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 and outlines how it will work with industry to achieve this. However, Road to Zero is technology neutral and does not speculate on which technologies might help to deliver government's 2040 mission and it does not plan to ban any particular technology, like hybrids.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

International oil prices in July fell at the start of the month, but recovered steadily as the effects of increased production from major suppliers were tempered by an uncertain forward supply picture.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

A question about EV charging was raised recently at the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG) where I have just been made the first chairman to be appointed from 'industry' rather than from 'enforcement'. The question was 'Who would enforce EV charging and how would they know if any had been installed that didn't comply with the guidance and therefore could be dangerous?'.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.9367.90138.13126.75
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
London130.73139.60127.04
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
Scotland130.6059.30137.24126.23
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
Wales129.84136.06125.42
West Midlands130.4059.90137.63126.57
Yorkshire & Humber130.02139.47126.29

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When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?

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