The Midcounties Co-op on Foldgate Lane – formerly Harry Tuffins – has reduced its opening hours. It will open one hour later, from 7am Monday to Saturday and from 8am on Sunday.

This is the only petrol station in town and many people need to get away before 7am in the morning. So, woe betide you if you fail to top up after a long day at work or commuting. You won’t be able to fill your tank or grab a bacon butty to sustain you on your journey.

This move is also likely to increase the queues for the petrol pumps at the Co-op.

I find the timing of this reduction in hours rather odd. The store is applying to sell alcohol from 6.00am, rather than from 7am as at present. (Comments to by 23 March.) I have no objection to this. People shouldn’t have to make a separate trip to a store to pick up wine or beer later in the day if they need to fuel up early.

We all agree that this town needs a second petrol station. That will reduce queues, provide wider choice and hopefully reduce prices.

We have two petrol filling stations approved.

One is planned for Rocks Green. Along with the supermarket, it has outline planning permission. This is at least two years away from opening.

The second petrol station is on the junction of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue. It has full planning permission. I understand that construction is expected to begin in the summer with a view to opening early next year.

Given the Co-op’s sudden reduction in opening hours, the need for a second petrol station in Ludlow could not be more urgent.

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