Forecourt Trader
Police warn that plain packaging of cigarettes will fuel organised crime and smuggling

Government plans to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products will make it easier for criminals to produce and sell illegal cigarettes, according to a new poll of serving police officers.

Peregrine Retail adds third site

Dorset-based Peregrine Retail has completed on the purchase of a third forecourt – Blackhorse Garage, just off Bristol ring road.

Closed-down Kent forecourt to be brought back to life

A petrol station that has been closed for 10 years in Kent is to be given a new lease of life next month.

Symonds Forecourts wins national Budgens award

Top 50 Indie Symonds Forecourts’ BP Budgens site in Wells, Somerset has been named Best Forecourt and Best New Store Of The Year at the Budgens Store of the Year Awards.

Don’t forget the 2012 Forecourt Seminar

RMI Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) will bring the key issues for forecourt retailers alive at their second joint Forecourt Seminar next week.

Nearly two thirds of motorists always fill up their tanks, says new research

Despite 63% of motorists limiting their car usage in the face of rising fuel prices, nearly 65% still fill up the tank when they go to the petrol station, according to new research from British Car Auctions (BCA).

Drive smarter and cut fuel bills by 15%, says Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust is urging companies to consider subsidised Smarter Driving training as it launches a nine-month-long roadshow programme to help businesses save 20ppl on fuel.

Morrisons slashes fuel prices by 2ppl

Morrisons has made its fourth national cut in fuel prices since the Eurozone crisis started as oil prices continue to decline.

The Brookfield Group opens first-ever Loco forecourt store

The first Loco-branded forecourt store has been opened in Leeds by Top 50 Indie The Brookfield Group, achieving an uplift of 10% store sales since its conversion to this new symbol group.

Vopak, Greenergy and Shell set out plans for Coryton

Royal Vopak, Greenergy, and Shell UK Limited have confirmed that they plan to develop and invest in a state-of-the-art import and distribution terminal to be managed by Vopak at the former Coryton refinery site.

Fuel duty cancellation gives some respite to independents, says Christie & Co

News that the Chancellor George Osborne has deferred the planned August increase in fuel duty is welcome news for consumers and forecourt operators alike, says retail business adviser Christie & Co.

Government bows to pressure and postpones August fuel duty rise to January

The Chancellor has today confirmed that the Government will delay the fuel duty rise scheduled for August 1 until January 1, 2013.

FairFuel UK 'delight' at fuel duty u-turn

FairFuel UK has described the government’s decision to postpone the August 3ppl hike in fuel duty as “democracy at its best”.

Joint venture will turn Coryton into import terminal

The administrators of Coryton refinery have agreed to sell off the majority of the assets to a joint venture comprising Royal Vopak, Greenergy and Shell UK.

Banking culture blamed as administrators put Nesscliffe Services up for sale

Independent retailer Mike Dransfield has blamed bankers and the endemic bonus culture in the banking world for contributing to the collapse of his family-run business. Administrators from KPMG were appointed to Shropshire-based Nesscliffe Services on June 15, 2012.

PRA welcomes fuel duty delay

The RMI Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) has positively welcomed the Government’s decision to not go ahead with the 3ppl fuel duty increase in August.

ACS welcomes HMRC plans to tackle alcohol duty fraud

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed plans by HMRC to introduce compulsory registration of alcohol wholesalers and duty stamps for beer as new measures to help tackle alcohol duty fraud.

Euro Garages picks Fairbanks as preferred WSM supplier

Wet-stock management provider Fairbanks has entered into an agreement with Euro Garages to provide the Top 50 Indie with a real-time wetstock management service.

Spoof video fights against plain tobacco packs

Opponents of plain packaging of tobacco today launched a campaign video designed to highlight the influence of unelected civil servants in Whitehall.

Dragon Service Stations rewards customers with loyalty scheme

Independent South Wales-based retailer Dragon Service Stations has launched its own loyalty scheme in a bid to fight competition from the multiples.

FairFuel UK calls on Treasury to quantify cost of duty hike as PM supports cancellation

FairFuel UK has made a fresh appeal on the Treasury to quantify the economic and social cost to the UK of the 3ppl hike in fuel duty planned for August.

OFT approves sale of 18 Rontec sites to Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s acquisition of 18 former Total-branded petrol stations from Rontec has been cleared by the Office of Fair Trading.

Wayne unveils new family of fuel dispensers

Fuel pump provider Wayne has launched the Wayne Helix fuel dispenser line, a global family of pumps that are said to place an emphasis on intelligent design, security, and advanced technology.

Rival grocery outlets free to challenge supermarket land use restrictions from July 1

From next month businesses will be able to apply to the Office of Fair Trading for the removal of land use restrictions which limit competition against any of the UK's seven largest grocery retailers.

PRA supports PM's concern over fuel duty rise

RMI Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has said it strongly supports the Prime Minister’s concern over the duty rise of 3.02ppl planned for August 1, which with the addition of VAT at 20%, will increase prices at the pump by 4ppl.

RMIP goes back to PRA by popular demand

RMI Petrol is to be known once again as the Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) by popular demand. The name was changed more than two years ago to better reflect the Association's status as part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

Raiders rip out cash machine at Sussex forecourt

Ram raiders used a stolen flatbed truck to break into a Sussex petrol station and rip out a cash machine from inside early yesterday morning (Monday June 18).

Termination of operations at Coryton continue as 180 jobs cut

Around 180 staff at Coryton refinery will be made redundant next week, increasing the likelihood of the Essex facility being transformed into a storage terminal.

Pay at pump tops poll as most important factor in forecourt choice

More than a third of motorists choose to fill up in forecourts with outdoor payment facilities, according to new research from customer intelligence company Market Force.

Pensioners back FairFuel UK campaign to scrap August 3ppl duty rise

The Pensioners Campaign UK has voted overwhelmingly to support FairFuel UK’s fight for lower petrol and diesel prices, as the cost of filling up a car hits pensioners harder than many sectors of the population.

‘Get in your limos and face Coryton workers’, ministers told

Ministers should get in their government limousines, and go and face the Coryton workers and tell them why there is no state aid available to tide the plant over, Unite the union has said.

Former Russian minister bids to keep Coryton refinery open

A former Russian energy minister has emerged as the sole bidder for the Coryton oil refinery in Essex, which supplies about 20% of fuel for London and the South East.

Convenience retail proves resilient to economic woes, says Christie & Co

The convenience retail sector continues to demonstrate its resilience against the economic tide, according to Christie & Co’s Business Outlook Summer 2012 publication, its first-ever interim report.

State aid rebuff for Coryton ‘a kick in the teeth’ to workers, says Unite

Nearly 1,000 workers have been ‘kicked in the teeth’ by the government’s decision not to apply for state aid from the European Commission, Unite the union has said.

Delegates gather for start of biennial Petroforum

Around 180 fuel industry delegates are gathering for next week's 2012 PetroForum in the Algarve to participate in an eclectic mix of topical forums.

Possible buyer for Coryton, claims Unite

There could be a possible buyer for the troubled Coryton oil refinery in Essex, according to the Unite union.

Blakemore to launch planograms for forecourts and rolling weekly promotions

Forecourt-specific planograms and rolling weekly promotions were just some of Spar wholesaler Blakemore’s sales-boosting plans revealed at its annual conference yesterday (June 12).

RMIP missive to PM to "fully engage with the industry"

A missive expressing deep and growing concern about the failure by the Government to properly talk with the fuel retailing industry has been sent to the Prime Minister David Cameron by RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson.

A successful start for Pace at Foxlydiate

Foxlydiate Service Station near Redditch had been closed for almost 15 months when business partners David Hill and Jackie Braziel eyed an opportunity. The experienced petrol retailers tidied up the premises, introduced Mace to the shop, Pace on the forecourt and 24 months on, the site is pumping 1.8ml and shop takings are up to around £1500 a day and still growing.

OFT promised further evidence to demonstrate need for market study

RMI Petrol has promised to gather further evidence of current practices which are distorting competition in the fuel retailing sector to help change the Office of Fair Trading’s opinion about the need for an inquiry.

Madderson – still waiting for urgent meeting with Greening

Transport secretary Justine Greening has been urged to talk to industry representatives before issuing a proposal for a voluntary code of conduct as threatened via press interviews last month.

Forecourt attendants make a comeback to Shell sites

Shell is bringing customer service to the pumps with the return of forecourt attendants at nearly 300 sites across the UK.

UK should follow China and slash fuel prices to boost demand, says FairFuel UK

China is cutting petrol and diesel prices to help stimulate consumer demand – and the UK government should do the same, fuel price campaigning group FairFuel UK has said.

Protests hit Coryton refinery amid warnings its closure could cost the economy £100m

There were protests outside Coryton oil refinery this morning amid warnings that its closure could see over £100m drained from the economy.

Crime surge from plain packs of cigarettes ignored by ministers, warns new report

The risk that stripping cigarette packets of their distinctive branding and logos will fuel a surge in tobacco smuggling and other forms of crime have been ignored by the Department of Health, according to a new independent study.

Tebay South earns highest rating in quality assessment scheme

Westmorland’s Tebay South motorway services area in Cumbria has become the UK’s first operation to be awarded a five-star rating in national tourist board VisitEngland’s Motorway Service Area Star Ratings scheme.

Costcutter sets sights on more forecourt c-stores

Costcutter is placing a greater focus on the forecourt sector as the symbol group wholesaler seeks to reassure members amid the ongoing negotiations over its future distribution arrangements.

New car market grows as private registrations rise 14.3%

New car sales figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today show month-on-month sales were up 7.9% compared to May last year.

Merril Boulton: Happy birthday to us!

Welcome to our silver anniversary issue. Yes, unbelievably Forecourt Trader is 25 years old, and in celebration the team has pulled the stops out to create this bumper issue.

Results of this month's online poll:

EKW Group proposed the creation of an Office for Petrol Distribution and Retail Industries (OfPet) to regulate the sector in a similar way to Ofcom, Ofwat and Ofgem for other vital industries. Do you think this is a good idea?