The UK has fewer petrol stations than ever before, despite the number of vehicles on the roads increasing, a professional body for the energy industry has said.
With the number of cars continuing to rise, each station supplies petrol and diesel to an average of 3,795 vehicles. The number of registered vehicles in the UK in 2009 reached a record high of 34.21 million.
Less than a quarter of the number of forecourts that existed in the late 1960s are now open in the UK today, according to a survey by the Energy Institute.
In 2008 the number of petrol stations increased to 9,283 from the previous year but by the end of 2009 there were 9,013, an all-time low. This compares with 1967's high of 39,958.
According to the survey, by the end of last year 16.29 million tonnes of petrol was sold in the UK, down 383,000 tonnes on 2008, and 12.65 million tonnes of diesel was sold, down 217,000 tonnes. Overall, around 37 million tonnes of fuel was sold throughout 2009, a fall of 901,000 tonnes on 2008.
Only 12 new petrol stations appeared at supermarkets last year, bring that total to 1,271. The number of branded stations of the big five oil firms were: 1,179 BP forecourts; 999 for Texaco; 930 for Shell; 900 for Esso, 818 for Total.
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