Disappearing garages - king arthur
Has anyone noticed the alarming rate at which traditional petrol forecourts are disappearing? The nearest one to me, where I have filled up most of the tinme in the last five years or so, is now closed. Is this a symptom of the low profitability of selling petrol these days? Will we all have to eventually drive miles out of our way, and queue for interminable periods, to fill up with petrol?

Or is it simply that the supermarkets are winning the battle for our petrol money?
Disappearing garages - stator
Hi. how about asking merlin for a home made fuel king arthur !
The gov are doing something like no rates for rural garages to try to keep them there , I think this is to late ,
not many post offices left either.
Disappearing garages - henry k
It is not just the supermarkets. Land is so expensive in SW London - Kingston area that they have closed in droves to become housing. There are some supermarkets in the area but not many.
I have to plan refils as in addition, LRP is being deleted at many sites.

One premium site that has closed facing the Thames at Kingston must rate as one of the most unusual filing stations in the country. It is in front of a block of flats and I guess to preserve their views, has the pay station in a dugout area below all the surounding area. we are watching with interest what will become of the site. It has been boarded up for months.
Disappearing garages - volvoman
Agreed HK - the very same thing has happened just a mile or two from here - fairly modern forecourt (with offices above IIRC) was closed down and redeveloped into luxury apartments. The site isn't huge - in fact you had to drive under the offices to acces the pumps, jet wash etc. - but it's amazing how many apartments they've crammed in. Given the prime location in the heart of Chislehurst I reckon these are a minimum of £300k each !

Not wishing to digress from the motoring thread but a new luxury development of I believe 9-10 detached houses has recently been completed on a former farm site in Chelsfield very close to Jcn 4 of the M25. IIRC the houses start at £900k and head rapidly upwards!
Makes you wonder how much profit has been made by the owner/developers and whether planning restrictions have been relaxed to allow this sort of development.
Disappearing garages - Marc
I wrote a response on this a couple of weeks ago. Where I used to live, about 10 years ago we had four stations within a one or two mile radius (Esso, Amoco, Texaco & Jet) There is now one Tesco and you always have to queue no matter when you go. I think the big names have decided to give up in suburban areas as they don't want to compete with the supermarkets.

The former petrol stations are now a parade of shops, a motorist discount centre, a carpet shop and a carphone warehouse. Where I live now I travel a 70 mile round trip daily and there is not one station on my route. Also, whenever a site's franchise comes up these days, the premium brands tend not to renew leaving it to the likes of Jet and Murco to be the only choices often

Not good for the consumer is it
Disappearing garages-air pumps - Alfafan {P}
As a slight aside to this, has anyone noticed that the number of air pumps is falling. Over the last couple of months at least four of my regular petrol stations have dispensed with the air pumps, and even a couple of those that haven't regularly have "Out of Order" notices on them. Presumably garages no longer see this as a worthwhile service to be provided. A bit shortsighted I would have thought as I now don't patronise them for anything. And I can't be the only one.
Disappearing garages-air pumps - 3ric
Remember the so-called "price wars" of a few years ago? Have you noticed that the major oil companies no longer take part in these sham battles? The reason is, that the purpose of the exercise was to force the closure of the smaller, private outlets. After each round of the "war" the roads would be peppered with boarded-up outlets. The big boys tried to pretend that they were fighting each other in a bid to bring cheaper fuel to the customer. Absolute rubbish. It was collusion. I know, I worked for one of the major companies at the time.
Disappearing garages-air pumps - henry k
First thoughts on garage air pumps were I am all right jack. I have a foot pump. Then second thoughts what about the space saver spare at 60 PSI. I doubt my foot pump will go to that.
Thanks for the warning as I have always to date blown my own up.
Disappearing garages - cockle {P}
Have certainly noticed the trend around here, as well, reckon that only about 25% of our petrol stations are exactly that, petrol stations only.

Personally my pet hate is that all bar one of our Esso stations have now been converted to Tesco Express' which happen to sell Esso petrol, the local BP has been converted to a similar version of Safeway.

My real gripe with this is that I have to use Esso for my company van as I have an Esso agency card and it now seems to take anything up to 25 minutes to fill up. Firstly, I always seem to have to wait for someone to finish their weekly shopping before they deign to move their car from their personal parking space in front of the DERV pump. Then, having finally filled up, I have to queue behind all the people with shopping trolleys before I can pay.
Why is the five items/fuel only till the only one that is never manned?

I have complained long and loud to the managers of these places on numerous occasions but basically they reckon they can make more profit out of a basket full of shopping than they can out of a tankful of fuel. One manager actually told me that as far as he was concerned it wouldn't worry him if he never sold another litre of fuel!

Never use the places for my private vehicle because I then have a choice. Unfortunately the independent garage is an endangered species, just like the little corner shop, if people continue to vote with their wallet rather than for service and civility then they will all surely be gone within a very short time.



Value my car