Gulf is re-staking its claim on Merseyside with the signing of three significant dealerships previously supplied by Shell and BP.

The new recruits are described as "top quality, high-volume sites in good strategic locations". They include an AE Reynolds flagship site -Dunningsbridge Service Station in Bootle - which has an annual volume of six million litres, and features a separate HGV canopy and modern Spar shop. A former BP site, its move to Gulf is seen as a particular coup for the brand, which, together with its Telegraph sites, dominated the area in the 90s, building up a market share of more than 20%.

The other new signings are Mount Garage in Kirkby, and Sefton Street in Liverpool.

Keith Jewers, Gulf retail director, said: "In a short space of time we have achieved an annual throughput in the Liverpool area of over 12 million litres, creating a strong base from which to develop our business and establish the economies of scale that once made this area a Gulf stronghold.

"We are establishing a strong reputation for close and flexible working relationships in the independent sector and this is reflected by our recent growth in Merseyside and across the UK."

Other recent signings include the 3mlpa former Esso site in Hooton, Ellesmere Port.