“SHOCK as IW fuels announces closure” said the County Press on July 31...well I for one was not shocked.

Way back in 1993 I wrote an article for the now defunct Weekly Post expressing my fears that precisely this would happen, due to supermarkets bringing fuel over in tankers on our ferries and the resultant loss of volume making the East Cowes depot uneconomic.

I’m just surprised that it has taken so long.

How the County Press first reported the closure.

Perhaps more concerning is the increase in tanker traffic on the ferries as the independent forecourts try to secure supplies or face closing and with deliveries of domestic heating oil.

At the time I wrote the article, I contacted our then MP, Barry Field, expressing my concerns over 33,000 litre fuel tankers on passenger ferries bringing around 60 million litres of petrol and diesel across annually and the even more volatile empty ones on the return journey.

In his reply to me Mr Field explained that the practice “meets all current goods carrying safety legislation provided there are not more than 620 passengers on the ferry”.

Reaction to news of the closure.

I assumed that our emergency services are unable to handle more than 620 casualties in the event of a ferry blowing up.

The closure of the East Cowes depot will only lead to one outcome, the closure of more local independent fuel forecourts and the monopolisation of our fuel supplies by the supermarkets.

When Tesco first applied for planning permission in Ryde, they promised to bring cheaper fuel to the Island, they have rarely if ever matched their mainland outlets since, so I wonder if they will keep that promise when they have the monopoly.

Have you got a view on this, or any other subject? Why not send a letter to the editor. Send it to editor@iwcp.co.uk by noon on Tuesday. Please try and keep it under 350 words.

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