Apparently London’s motorists are in a state of ‘panic’ as they are having trouble finding petrol stations near them….
A new report out today by petrol industry boffins Catalist reveals that a third of London’s forecourts have shut down since 2002, and that England as a whole has 617 cars per petrol station, which sounds quite a lot really.
But hang on a minute. This is London. If there is no longer a garage in your street, then you can bet your bottom car wash token that there is one in the next street, or within an easy five minute drive. And every bloomin’ supermarket seems to be flogging the stuff as well these days.
Londonist concedes that filling station closure is probably awfully inconvenient if you live up a mountain in Scotland, or even in a little village in the shires – if there are 20-30 miles between fill-ups and they shut one down, then you are up the creek without a paddle (or up the mountain without a car). But in London they are surely doing us a favour. In one of the most acceptable uses of the much abused ‘S’ word that Londonist has heard for a wee while now, Catalist states that the ‘petrol station network is now becoming sustainable’. We agree. Garages with a few hundred yards between them or in adjacent streets is a ridiculous state of affairs. They cause concerted blobs of pollution and are more often than not an eyesore.
What really tickles Londonist is the creative use to which many former petrol stations are put – we have seen hardware stores, drive through eateries, wine warehouses, general cash and carries and the slightly less innovative car wash. We can envisage drive through theatre (five minutes of culture to cradle you through your journey), a petrol themed restaurant perhaps, even a club or pub – where are you, entrepreneurial Londoners?
So sorry, panicking motorists. This is one sort of closure we can’t get on our bandwagon about. Get on your bikes.
Images courtesy of masochismtango’s flickr stream