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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?'.

Tracy West: retail commentator

I'm sorry but I'm back on the subject of soft drinks again this month.

Merril Boulton: editor

Just back from an excellent PRA/ACS Forecourt Conference, which both informed and inspired in equal measure. The world is always changing, but there is something about the current pace of change and uncertainty across many aspects of life business, political, technological, environment that would be easy to become quite unsettled by, and is prompting much discussion. The fuel retailing industry in particular appears to be standing on the brink of radical change, and no one is quite sure what the future holds or more importantly, how close that radically changing future is, or even how radical it will be! So attending a gathering of relevant minds to consider all the possible options, opportunities and challenges is certainly time well spent.

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

In recent weeks, the Centre for Social Justice has published a report called Desperate for a Fix, focusing on tackling retail crime and calling for fresh thinking at a national and local level to find policies that can address the increases in theft and other crime that retailers have experienced recently.

Charlotte Blum: analysis editor, Argus Media

Changing expectations of supply amid continued strong demand pushed oil prices first down then up again in June, with Ice Brent futures ending June at $77.85/bl.

Kevin Eastwood BOSS - executive director

During the FIFA World Cup there were a number of countries who started the competition with low expectations. However, some quiet, careful and thoughtful planning helped them to achieve and make their nations very proud of their performances. The forecourt sector can draw similarities, in particular, when it comes to dealing with crime on our forecourts.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
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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