PRA calls for clarification from the Welsh government on car washes
The Petrol Retailers and Car Wash Associations represent the 5,350 independent forecourt operators and specialist car wash companies across the UK. This covers 65 per cent of the total fuel outlets (PFS). Many of these sites have Automated Car Washes (ACW). The PRA does not represent the standalone Hand Car Washes (HCW), which on occasion may breach Covid-19 regulations as well as ones covering tax, employment and the environment.
Writing to the Welsh Government (20/10/2020), Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, requested confirmation that Covid-secure car washes operating on supermarket car parks will be able to continue operation during the ‘Firebreak’ lockdown being imposed in Wales.
“ACW and compliant HCW play a vital role when it comes to vehicle repair and maintenance. These car washes ensure that vehicles remain identifiable for crime enforcement purposes. Clean vehicles are safer to operate, especially during the winter months, as visibility is fully maintained through clear windows and all lights function properly so reducing avoidable accidents on the roads. This will have the further benefit of freeing up Emergency Services resources.
“The PRA is fully supportive of sensible measures that safeguard our members, and their customers, however, the risk of transmission can be effectively managed at these sites as their service can be operated at a distance with no close physical contact. HCW and ACW Multiples, such as Waves, are able to provide their customers with the ability to pay through contactless methods, such as paying on-line and employing card readers that do not require the window to be opened at any point” Madderson wrote.
The PRA have highlighted that in Part 2, section 3 (2) of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Wales, it is clearly stated that people are entitled to travel to petrol stations to obtain supplies, including supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance, and functioning of the household, such as vehicle servicing and repair.