Coronavirus causes closure of 100 petrol stations

Up to 100 petrol stations have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an industry body.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said the final total could reach 1,000.

Most of the affected sites are in rural areas, which have seen the largest drop in demand for fuel.

The PRA explained that retailers are suffered from a “huge cash flow crisis” due to a reduction in fuel sales of up to 85%.

It claimed a £25,000 grant from the Government which is available to small and medium-sized petrol station firms would do little to secure their long-term future, as the cash would be “swallowed by the next delivery”.

The average price of petrol and diesel at UK forecourts is at the lowest level since May 2016 and July 2017 respectively.

Earlier, a campaign group called for further reductions as the price of oil sank.

But PRA chairman Brian Madderson warned that “most petrol stations would risk their financial viability if they had to reduce prices still further”.

He went on: “Instead of 100 closures, we could see 1,000 – severely disadvantaging so many of the essential front line workers.

“The target remains to keep open and provide continuity of service.”

Department for Transport figures show that road traffic is around two-thirds lower than normal, due to the coronavirus lockdown.

But an RAC survey suggested that one in three drivers believe having access to a car is more important than normal.

The reasons given for needing a car included doing food shopping, visiting pharmacies and providing care for vulnerable people.

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