Forecourts across the UK have been affected by the heavy snow, with many seeing drops in fuel volumes balanced in some locations by increased sales of hot food and items such as bread and milk.

At Symonds Forecourts, ranked 36 in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies and based in Yeovil, Somerset, several inches of snow fell on all its sites.

Managing director Nick Lloyd said rural stores had seen increases in shop sales of 10-20% with bread and milk proving strong sellers. However, after a spike in fuel sales the day before the snow fell, volumes at stores on A-roads were down 50-70% over Friday and Saturday as few drivers ventured out.

He praised staff for their teamwork in clearing inches of snow from the forecourts, in one case helped by family and friends.

And he said fuel companies had responded well to the situation, re-scheduling deliveries were necessary, although availability had been helped by the low volumes.

At the Winning Post Service Station on Haldon Hill in Devon, Chartman director Clive Sheppard said they had just cleared several inches of snow from the forecourt on Wednesday morning in time for a delivery.

In addition to heavy snow on Friday and Tuesday, he said they also had a one-hour power cut on Tuesday, which forced them to close for its duration.

Fuel sales were very low, he said, adding: “But we sold lots of coffee and hot food and I managed to get hold of some sledges at the weekend and they flew out of the shop.”

Penny Petroleum, which is number 16 in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies and is based in Alnwick, Northumberland, reported that volumes at some sites had benefited when local supermarkets ran out of fuel.

Staff, helped by their local communities and farmers with snow ploughs, had managed to clear snow from forecourts, although one tanker got stuck for 20 minutes at its Hedgeley petrol station, and deliveries were still getting through.