Chartman Group’s flagship service station at Haldon Hill, on the A38 outside Exeter, hosted the launch of the Highways Agency’s annual winter driving campaign late last month.

Chartman director Clive Sheppard said the request came out of the blue and the company was happy to help out. "We were able to cone off a corner of the site so it did not affect business," he explained.

Clive said the agency brought two snow ploughs for photo opportunities, and there were representatives from the agency and the Institute of Advanced Motoring, who were interviewed by journalists from TV, radio and national and local newspapers. That evening the event was featured on the local TV news.

Clive said it was great recognition for the site, which reopened in May after a £2m redevelopment, and for the forecourt sector generally.

"Whenever there is snow the TV companies come here to film because Haldon Hill always seems to get the extremes of weather," he said.