Garage closure hits local motorists

Shell Forecourt Chandlers Ford

Motorists in Chandlers Ford have had to find an alternative place to purchase fuel since the Shell garage on the Bournemouth Road near The Fryern Arcade closed down last summer.

A sign was put up on the front of the security fencing saying that the garage would reopen in January 2012. In early December the sign was replaced with another saying that the garage is now due to reopen in June 2012.

The overhead canopy was demolished prior to the concrete forecourt being dug up and removed. The diggers then went in to remove what can only be described as a huge amount of earth.

A spokesman for the company undertakeing the work said that the old fuel tanks had to be removed as well as a lot of disused equipment that was left over from a time when the garage actually did repair work. Before the new fuel tanks can be installed, excavations down to 5.5 metres or approximately 18 foot have to be undertaken.

The work involves preparing the ground to the satisfaction of the authorities responsible for Building Regulations and Environmental Regulations. The new double skinned tanks that replace the old single skin tanks cannot be installed before the preliminary work of pouring the concrete base and walls have been completed.

Once the concrete well has been finished, covers have to be put in place prior to inspection. The wait for the inspection means that not only can the tanks not be installed, but the finished surface of the forecourt cannot be undertaken along with the new canopy.

Who would have thought that refurbishing a garage would have taken so long?

Meanwhile residents will continue to travel either to Twyford Road or ASDA at the far end of town to purchase fuel locally.

  12 comments for “Garage closure hits local motorists

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Is Rowles garage on the corner of Bournemouth Road and Leigh Road shut John?

    I didn’t realise how few garages there were left in Chandlers Ford.

    In the 70’s I can remember a petrol station on Leigh Road (corner of Shaftesbury), two each on both Hiltingbury Rd and Hursley Rd, one on Oakmount Rd and an extra two on Bournemouth Rd.

    This was at a time when there were considerably fewer vehicles on the road – I know cars are a lot more efficient these days but i don’t think this accounts for the demise in the proliferation of small independent suppliers.

    It’s the big supermarkets who have muscled out competition.

    According to the OFT in 1990 there were 18,000 petrol stations in the UK – last year that was down to 8,000.

    I don’t know where the council gets the idea that allowing Sainsbury to build a megastore in Eastleigh will revive business here – for years Sainsbury, Tesco and Asda have been killing businesses in the borough.

    • February 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Rowles, now Picador/Esso isnt as cheap as ASDA, which is why most locals do not use it, except maybe for the onsite mini mart. However, I should have mentioned it. Who can also recall the times when you went to the garages to buy the parts needed to repair or maintain your car? Its not only the supermarkets who have elbowed the small garages out of business, its the likes of Halfords too.

      The big stores have a lot to answer for. It would be great if we actually had a choice again.

  2. maureen
    February 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Ashdown Road garage now flats. Rowles garage now flats. Garage opposite Dovetail now flats. I guess development is more lucrative than selling petrol. No petrol at Oakmount Road anymore just car sales – you used to be able to get a pint of milk late at night there too.
    As the number of cars goes up, the number of garages goes down.

  3. maureen
    February 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Ashdown Road garage now flats. Rowles garage now flats. Garage opposite Dovetail now flats. I guess development is more lucrative than selling petrol. No petrol at Oakmount Road anymore just car sales — you used to be able to get a pint of milk late at night there too.As the number of cars goes up, the number of garages goes down.

    Of course, I meant Simpkins not Rowles but its past my bedtime. Then again, how long before more garages sell out to the developers?

  4. Peter Stewart
    February 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    The supermarkets have pursued an aggressive policy of exterminating the small garage.

    The winners have been the fat cats who operate these quasi-monopolies.

    The losers are us. For the sake of so-called “cheap” petrol, we end up driving for miles to find a station and then end up waiting 5 or 10 minutes minutes to access a pump and a further 5 or 10 minutes just to get served.

    In addition, the fringe benefits of the small garage, like free air and water etc. plus free advice, have all gone.

    The consumer has been once again ripped off by the fat cat!

  5. February 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Seeing an decrease in these stations should be a good thing. We are in the age of Cheap Oil – and people want to pay as little as they can – but we must start to Transition off of this – switch to alternative uses of transport – Carshare, Cycling, Walking, Using public transport. If we come together in our community to decide the future of our transport, we can make (or at least hope to make) a difference.

    • February 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Greg, the transition to alternative modes of transport has been on the agenda for some years now. Public transport for instance has seen fares rise to what some call prohibitive levels. Indeed, I am aware of one couple who commuted to London each day by train, only now to find it is cheaper for them to live in London instead of paying the daily/annual train fares.

      It is a matter of public record that I have suggested that branch rail lines forcibly closed by previous governments, particulary in the Beeching era, should be reopened in order to;
      A, cope with the increase in commuters,
      B, lower the amount of traffic on road networks.
      C, Modernise the transport infrastructure.

      We are not in an age of cheap oil. Today, Iran stopped exporting oil to the UK and other EU countries. This may spark a price rise at the pumps.

      Unfortunatley, it will take more than the community to come together to decide the future of transport. With huge reserves of oil still in the ground around the world, travel costs continuing to rise, oil will be around for the foreseeable future. As will this discussion.

      please note that I do not disagree with you.

      • February 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Hey John. It’s ridiculous with the public transport fare prices increases – I fully support the work of The Campaign for Better Transport (, and will keep pushing Governments into reducing prices. It’s like energy prices at a high – how are people supposed to pay ridiculous prices for transport AND energy.

        I worry for the people on low incomes and the jobless – how they will cope with this?!

        I agree with you in getting these closed stations reopened – you’re right, but with prices this high, will people use them?

        The sooner we Transition to alternative technologies for transport, the better. I recently thought biofuel was a good alternative, then I did research and found out that it involves additional land use – which we really need to use for food in the future, as food security becomes an issue.

        It does beg the question of how will these EU countries, i.e France (75,000 barrels of oil a day) cope with this?

        People power can make a real difference – so the more people aware of these issues and taking action, the more difference we can make.

      • February 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

        I’m very interested in behaviour change. Here’s a great resource about behaviour change (and it uses transport as an example)

  6. Peter Stewart
    February 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Trouble is, we live in EU Britain. This is a Britain beyond all recognition to the Britain I knew in 1972 (the year before we sold our workers off in exchange for cheap European goods. Then once we had been brainwashed into thinking that it was “inevitable” that we must buy goods from Europe if they were cheaper (because that was in the rules of joining) then the fat cats switched to other areas of the world where the labour was even cheaper. So now, forty years on, we expect CHEAP everything. We even expect cheap petrol and we are willing to see every small garage in the land go out of business, just to knock a few damned pence off our own petrol bills. The price for our selfishness and greed is the destruction of our neighbours’ jobs. And it is our neighbours who keep us in work. How long can Britain go on like this? How long will it take for even John Bull to wake up and realize the price of cheap goods is lost British jobs?

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I’ve been told – and I have yet to verify this – that the Shell garage has closed in order to have new pumps fitted which are now required by an EU directive which came into force in January.
      Fuel Pumps now have to have “Stage 2 vapour capture technology”.
      I understand that the Williams Esso garage in Otterbourne is no longer selling Petrol due to the cost of installing these pumps and is now operating solely as a Village shop – if you are passing perhaps you can check this out Pete?
      This is the reason why Monks Brook was closed recently.

  7. maureen
    February 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I heard that the Williams garage site is going to be “developed” with housing at the front.

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