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PRA wins emergency planning overhaul

01 March, 2013

The PRA has won a significant victory in its campaign for the Government to overhaul of the National Emergency Plan – Fuels (NEP–F) scheme.

Under the scheme there are about 700 Designated Filling Station (DFS) sites across England, Scotland and Wales which would receive road fuels supplies under emergency conditions.

However, during the fuel crisis last March, PRA chairman Brian Madderson said it became clear that the NEP-F scheme and the selection of the DFS sites was not “fit for purpose”.

As a result PRA provided “constructive criticism” of the scheme to the Cabinet Office and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Madderson has now received a letter from Ed Davey, secretary of state at DECC, giving a commitment that his officials will work with the PRA to overhaul and improve the scheme.

In his letter Davey thanks Madderson for his support to DECC in preparing contingency plans and adds: “I agree that the NEP – F should be reassessed in the light of last year’s experiences … I would expect my officials to begin a review of the NEP-F this spring and I have asked them to ensure that they engage [PRA’s parent body] RMI through this process.”

Madderson told Forecourt Trader: “One of the concerns voiced by PRA members was that there was no industry agreed template for site selection. Nearly 20% of DFS sites are hypermarket forecourts which may not cater for large commercial vehicles and may give rise to traffic congestion issues on surrounding roads.”

About 60% of DFS sites are independently owned/operated and Madderson said PRA would be contacting them to ensure it had details of key personnel.

He added: “For those independents who are with DFS but not yet PRA members, this promised overhaul is a very good reason why they should now support their trade association.

“They should contact me immediately so they can have an input into the liaison with DECC officials.”