Village takes over petrol station to save it from closure 0

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A village in North Yorkshire has taken over their local petrol station in a bid to save it from closure.

A community group in the picturesque village of Hawes has taken out a three-year lease on the Dale Head Garage.  

If the garage had closed, residents would have faced a 36-mile round trip to fill up their tank.

During their time as leaseholders, the group – Upper Dales Community Partnership (UDCP) – hopes to raise enough money to buy the site via a share offer, and install a 24-hour self-service pump plus an electric charging point.

John Blackie, councillor and executive chair of the partnership, said: “The petrol station is hugely important to Hawes. It fuels everyday life, business and tourism in the area.”

In the 1950s there were over 40,000 petrol stations in the UK, a figure which has dropped to around 6,000 said Mr Blackie.

“The countryside is littered with relics of what used to be filling stations,” he said.

“We feared [the garage in Hawes] might fall prey to property developers as so many others have done.”

Hawes is one of a number of areas in England and Scotland to be part of a fuel rebate system that allows retailers to claim back up to 5p per litre duty relief on unleaded petrol and diesel, then pass the savings onto customers.

The UDCP also runs a “one-stop community office” incorporating the town’s library, an internet café, police station, inquiry desk, and bus company.

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