Three South Lanarkshire forecourts have received formal warnings after petrol was sold to an under-age volunteer during a test-purchasing exercise.

The sales were made to a 14-year-old, who was carrying out test purchases on behalf of South Lanarkshire Council’s Consumer and Trading Standards Service.

The garages were warned for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. A total of eight forecourts were visited in August.

Helen O’Neill, the council’s Licensing and Investigations officer, said: “Allowing young people access to petrol sets up the chance that it could be used for the wrong means with the potential to cause fire and serious injury. This is putting the youngsters themselves, property and other members of the public at risk.

"We would urge petrol station owners to make sure that their staff are suitably trained to recognise young people under the age of 16, or where in doubt, to question or ask for proof of age. We would also warn that we will be repeating this exercise over the coming weeks to check that our message is getting through."