Government withdraws warning to ‘avoid petrol stations’

The government has clarified advice that appeared to suggest motorists should avoid filling stations, garages and motorway services

Filling a car with fuel at a petrol station

The Department for Transport has clarified misleading advice that appeared to suggest motorists should avoid filling stations, garages and motorway services to stem the spread of Covid.

Originally, an ‘Easy Read’ guidance booklet stated that motorists should “only stop at petrol stations or motorway service stations if you really need to”.

This conflicted with advice on the DfT’s own website, advising motorists to simply limit their time, keep their distance from others and pay contactless.

The Petrol Retailers Association raised this with the DfT and the organisation has now remedied the advice.

It explained to the PRA that the Easy Read guidance “wrongly oversimplified” the situation.

“To be clear – petrol stations and motorway service areas remain vital in providing a safe place for motorists to stop, refuel and take a short break from driving.

“There has not been a chance in policy on petrol stations.”

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said the organisation was “immensely pleased that the government has listened to our suggestions”.


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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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