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Update: Petrol Situation Improving But Local Trading Has Been Affected

Published on: 6 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 7 Oct, 2021

By Martin Giles and Hugh Coakley

Well known town centre trader Ben Darnton, of Ben’s Records in Tunsgate, has told The Dragon that the fuel crisis is affecting town centre trading.

He said: “The fuel crisis has affected retail in the town. It’s been dead recently. People who would normally pop into town for a couple of hours have stayed at home and saved the fuel, just in case. ”

Another trader who did not wish to be named echoed Mr Darnton’s view saying: “The fuel crisis has definitely hit the trade in town.”

Today (October 6) we recorded the highest number so far of Guildford garages able to sell petrol since the supply issues began. Three of the five we visited had fuel and queues were not stretching back onto roads causing obstructions to passing traffic, as they had been.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents nearly 5,500 of the UK’s 8,000 filling stations, says the worst-affected areas have seen a “marginal” improvement but still face a “challenging” time.

It said about a fifth of forecourts in London and the South East were out of fuel on Monday.

See also: ‘Normal Supply in Days’, Politicians React to Continuing Fuel Supply Disruption

But our series of mini-surveys of five of the most central Guildford filling stations have shown much higher rates of dry forecourts.

No fuel again at the BP garage on Woodbridge Road. Cars parked by the pumps were just those parked up by drivers using the shop.

Just up the road, The Shell Garage on Woodbridge Road had received a delivery today. The forecourt was busy with a steady stream of cars but in common with other operating garages there were no queues stretching back on to the road.

Fuel was being sold at the Esso Garage on Ladymead but only one “island” was in operation. A £35 limit per customer was in place.

Across the dual-carriageway, the Shell garage was once again dry. The attendant said that their last delivery was at 8.30pm on Monday, which had been sold out by 3pm Tuesday. There had been no limit per sale. The attendant was keeping herself busy by cleaning the shop and felt that the situation was improving.

Bellfields Esso garage had fuel to sell and there was another busy forecourt with no sign of the previous £30 per sale limit.

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Responses to Update: Petrol Situation Improving But Local Trading Has Been Affected

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    October 7, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Have you been monitoring the price of fuel as well?

    From my observation, there is a range of nearly 10p difference per litre across Guildford Town fuel stations.

    Perhaps you could be checking with site managers, who’s setting the price. Most of these sites are run by private operators, not the major company/subsidiary on the totem.

    Editor’s response: Interesting though your question is, am afraid we do not have the resource to expand the range of our survey. It is just intended to be a periodic spot-check on the petrol supply situation in Guildford.

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