Sales of diesel cars down 20%

Sales of new diesel cars have plummeted, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). New diesel car sales were 81,489 in May, 20% down on the corresponding month last year when 101,844 were sold. Sales of petrol cars were marginally up at 96,518, an increase of 0.4%.

Industrial action ballot at Essar

Staff at Essar UK’s Stanlow refinery plant in Ellesmere Port have been balloted for industrial action in a row over pensions. Unite, the country’s largest union, started balloting over 350 of its members in the collective bargaining groups, who are also members of the Essar final salary pension scheme, on May 30. The ballot was still open as we went to press but closed on June 9.

inquiry into Tesco/booker deal

The Competition and Markets Authority has opened its investigation into Tesco’s proposed acquisition of Booker. The first phase of the investigation runs until July 25.

Applegreen added 16 sites this year

Applegreen reported at its AGM that it has added 16 sites to its estate since the start of January and that it has a strong pipeline of new sites both in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Applegreen chairman Daniel Kitchen said it had a positive start to the 2017 financial year both in terms of trading and development of the business.

Raiders steal forecourt’s ATM

Police Scotland have launched an appeal for witnesses after raiders stole a cash machine from a Borders petrol station. The suspects forced entry to Harrison’s Petrol Station on Edinburgh Road in Peebles, and stole the free-standing ATM with a four-figure sum of cash in it, at 2.35am on Monday, June 5.

Mass move to electric cars close

Mass ownership of electric cars could occur much earlier than previously thought, according to UBS. An in-depth study by the bank suggests the cost of owning an electric car will draw level with that of a traditional combustion engine vehicle as early as next year in Europe, leading to earlier than expected adoption by the public.