The number of petrol stations in the UK is currently at the lowest level in years, giving rise to fears of 'fuel deserts' as fuel retailers continue to feel the effects of a declining economy.
While the number of loan providers has probably escalated immensely since the advent of the internet, it seems that the number of petrol stations has shown a steady decline over the same period. Many motorists might be shocked to hear that during the mid-nineties there were no less than 21,000 fuel stations in the UK, while today there are only 8,500 left.
This has prompted some commentators to predict that certain areas will turn into 'fuel deserts'.
The latest figures indicate that the worst hit area is Fife in Scotland, where there are only 36 filling stations to service more than 163,000 drivers. This means one filling station has to supply more than 4,500 motorists.
The best access to fuel can be enjoyed in North East Wales, where the former county of Clwyd tops the charts with 230 filling stations to service 235,000 motorists - a ratio of slightly more than 1,000 motorists for each outlet.
Retail wholesaler Palmer & Harvey carried out the research. The company supplies convenience goods to filling stations. It says independent stations have been hit the hardest.
Chris Etherington, the company's CEO, says 'These fuel deserts are a huge inconvenience to the already hard-pressed motorist. Filling stations are as important to the nation as local pubs and village shops. We will all suffer if these closures continue.'
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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