Garage's booze plan 'will fuel underage drinking'

PUBLISHED: 16:51 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 26 October 2009

BP petrol station in Welwyn

BP petrol station in Welwyn

CONCERNED staff and residents say they fear for their safety after hearing of plans to sell booze in a petrol station. Outraged opponents claim that gangs of underage drinkers already plague the garage in Welwyn and selling alcohol in-store could cause

CONCERNED staff and residents say they fear for their safety after hearing of plans to sell booze in a petrol station.

Outraged opponents claim that gangs of underage drinkers already plague the garage in Welwyn and selling alcohol in-store could cause "massive problems".

This comes after BP submitted an application for a licence to sell alcohol in its petrol station on Welwyn Bypass to Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Long serving worker at the filling station and Welwyn resident, Gordon Longmead said it would almost certainly encourage teen boozing and bring more trouble to the village.

The 53-year-old, who lives in York Way, said: "It will be very dangerous for workers at the shop.

"The garage already has problems with underage persons attempting to buy cigarettes and with people who have obviously been drinking threatening staff.

"The garage is not secure enough to supply alcohol.

"Youths congregate around the garage causing a nuisance.

"Many locals are afraid to leave their homes after dark as a consequence.

"We have a very old population in the village and they feel intimidated by the underage drinkers."

A spokesman for BP confirmed that although the licence had been applied for, there were no plans to make the store 24 hours.

"BP is applying for a licence to sell alcohol and late night refreshment at the Nodeway filling station," he said.

"The application is going through a 28-day consultation period, but there are no current plans to extend the store's opening hours which currently are 6am to 10pm.

"BP has more than 200 stores selling alcohol with a fully endorsed training programme and regular refreshers for staff to ensure responsible alcohol sales.


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