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Tracy West: retail commentator

Can you believe it's December already. Well, actually I know all of you can because you will have been planning your stock and staff for months. Me? Well, I am just your average consumer so the fact that December is here is still a bit of a shock!

Merril Boulton: editor

Very interesting forum last month on 'The next steps for low-emission vehicles...' (see Industry Insight p23). Apart from the fact that the move to electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure required to service them, all sounded like one huge, challenging mess despite the enthusiasm of some of the presenters there were certain points raised that made my ears prick up.

Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

As autumn begins to pinch, this is when we as a nation (or the high street retailers at least) begin counting down to Christmas. Santa's delivery supply chain while impressive only covers one day of the year whereas we'll have to keep fuel flowing over the whole Christmas period and beyond, but I'm sure we're all looking ahead in anticipation to the weeks to come.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

International oil prices shed more than 10% in October. Markets fell from the highs seen in September, as Saudi Arabia increased production and assured customers that it would plug any gaps caused by loss of Iranian oil to sanctions. UK transport fuel prices were broadly neutral, but Ice Brent futures ended the month at $75.04/bl, a loss of $7.68/bl on the month.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

The unmanned operation of petrol filling stations is growing across the UK, sometimes because it is the only feasible way for vehicle fuel to be accessible in remote areas. But also where companies have evaluated the cost of installing and monitoring technical solutions against the ever-rising cost of employing personnel and decided that the outlay is worthwhile.

Tracy West: retail commentator

I was lucky enough to have the chance to visit the Forecourt Trader of the Year 2018 recently A26 Tannaghmore in Northern Ireland. And what a pleasure that visit was. It was easy to see how it wowed the judges.

Merril Boulton: editor

Well what a shocker! The Jet brand is returning to the company owned sector. Brand owner Phillips 66 has bought independent dealer Nick Baker's award-winning business in Yorkshire. While it's only four sites, Mary Wolf, the company's managing director, UK marketing, said the acquisition was the start of a new development for Phillips 66, and marks the first phase in the rollout of its plans while stressing that the company remained committed to the dealer market.

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

It's hard to ignore the debate on plastics and the environmental impact of the bottles and bags that are too often discarded into the countryside, waterways and oceans. One of my rules in working out how ACS should address policy challenges is to ask 'Is this a real issue, are the people who are concerned about it justified in demanding action?' In this case, the answer is definitely 'yes' so we should think about what local shops can do to help tackle this problem. Of course, it doesn't automatically follow that any proposed solution is the right one, so we need to be as objective as we can, and ask what will work and what it will mean for members.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Oil prices continue on their upward trajectory, and there are signs of tightness in global markets, felt all the way down the supply chain to the UK pump.

Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS

On more than one occasion during the past three months, BOSS has been told by senior police officers that they are keen to have much closer links with forecourt retailers as there are often clear links to more serious incidents. Forecourt crime tends to involve a high number of incidents which are low in individual value. It soaks up manpower and, in an era where resources are under immense pressure, better working relationships can improve safety, save time and reduce losses for fuel retailers.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 17 February 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands128.1460.80138.82124.96
North East126.40136.83123.08
North West127.4666.90138.32124.30
Northern Ireland125.32131.10122.38
South East129.3462.40139.01125.86
South West128.2663.90136.08124.49
West Midlands128.2166.90137.48124.77
Yorkshire & Humber127.5855.70137.36124.09

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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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