Petrol stations in rural areas could be a thing of the past if fuel prices continue to soar, according to a leading motor industry body.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the petrol division of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, believes that Britain's refueling network is under great threat. He predicts that 500 petrol retailers, the majority of which are in rural areas, will go out of business in the next 12 months with the expected loss of 5,000 jobs.
Madderson went on to say that there had been a noticeable trend in country areas for motorists to ignore their local garage and drive up to 30 miles to get cheaper petrol from supermarkets or larger petrol chains in and around towns.
"Already some of our members are reporting a 10 to 20 percent reduction in business," he said.
In 1990, there were about 20,000 petrol retailers. Today, that figure has dropped to 8,850, of which about 2,000 are classed as rural.