The recent flooding in Cumbria and Lancashire has brought mixed fortunes for service stations. While some have only just been getting back into business, and others had to close for short periods at the peak of the floods, sites nearby who have been able to remain open have seen a surge in business from grateful customers.

Shell Hardwick Circus, Sainsbury’s and Tesco in Carlisle were all flooded, and Shell Lancaster was shut for three days due to the effect of the flood on local electricity supplies, while a site owned by Top 50 Indie Hills Group and AUK’s Prizet Services near Kendal were also affected by flooding. The water at Prizet Services, which has sites on both sides of the A591, covered the forecourt and the road, stranding customers at the site’s Travelodge. But three days later they reported the road had reopened and the site was fully operational after cleaning up some water damage to the stores.

Michael Collin, a director of Hills Group, said its site at Kirkby Thore, on the A66 near Appleby, was flooded on Saturday night of December 5, but reopened on Sunday.

He said: "The forecourt had a foot of water on it, but the shop has two steps up into it so it wasn’t flooded. All the tank tops and manholes flooded, but there was no water in the tanks and after electrical tests we opened on Sunday morning."