Ellon motorists are set to be hit with the loss of one of the town’s filling stations, following news that the owners plan to cease trading at the end of the month.
Craighall Filling Station, on the town’s South Road, is owned and operated by Buckie-based Regency Oils Limited. The company, which also has filling stations in Dufftown and in Buckie, was established in 1957 as a supplier of fuels and lubricants to the local fishing industry. It continues to provide fuels and lubricants to all types of business and domestic customers.
News of the filling station’s closure, which will take place on 31 October, was broken to staff last week. Currently, the station provides a mixture of both full and part-time employment for six people.
Staff spoken to by the Ellon Times declined to comment on the announcement, instead referring enquiries to the company’s Managing Director. However, the news had clearly been met with a mixture of shock and disappointment by staff and customers alike, with one motorist describing the news as ‘sad’ and ‘devastating’.
As well as selling petrol, diesel, bottled gas and some groceries, the filling station is popular with motorists in the town for its two ‘jetwash’ car washing bays.
On Tuesday afternoon, Regency was selling petrol at 141.9 pence per litre and diesel at 137.9 pence per litre. In contrast, both BP and Tesco were selling petrol at 139.9 pence per litre, with diesel at 135.9 pence. With the price of fuel on sale consistently higher than that of Ellon’s other filling stations, it is thought that poor fuel sales may have been a contributory factor in the company’s decision to cease operations on the site.
Community Council Chair Moira Muir described the news as being “A sign of the times”. “It’s quite sad”, she said. “A lot of small businesses suffer through having supermarkets with filling stations on their doorsteps, but people will go where fuel’s cheapest.”
Despite making attempts to contact Regency Oils for comment, no-one at the company was able to respond to the Times enquiries about the closure. It remains unclear at this stage what plans, if any, the owners have for the site.