Petrol stations to sell booze but deliveries on hold over under-age drinking fears

Three petrol station shops have been allowed to sell alcohol – but any deliveries of booze will have to wait, amid concerns over under-age drinking.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:01 pm

The Motor Fuel Group has recently taken over and is refurbishing Carronside Service Station, Bainsford; Crossroads Service Station, in Bo’ness; and Polmont Service Station on Main Street, Polmont.

All of them now have rebranded Londis shops selling groceries – with a delivery service from the Carron and Polmont garages.

But when the company tried to argue that using Uber Eats meant they would not technically be delivering alcohol, members of Falkirk Council’s licensing board were not convinced.

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Garages have been given the go-ahead to sell alcohol.

Andrew Hunter, speaking on behalf of the group, told councillors that Uber Eats was a ‘collection service’ – and it was no different to someone picking up shopping for their husband or wife.

He said the shop staff would simply need to check that the person picking up the booze was over 18 – and after that the responsibility lay with Uber Eats to make sure that it was delivered safely.

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He told the board that Uber Eats is a responsible company used by major retailers and has policies in place to make sure alcohol does not get in the hands of anyone who is under-age.

All of their records are kept along with a log of any deliveries that could not be made and any reason for refusal.

And he reassured the board that anything that could not be delivered would be returned to the store that sold it in the first place.

However, the board were keen to know that the Motor Fuel Group was taking full responsibility for any sales of alcohol and insisted that collections should be added into the operating plan.

Mr Hunter said they were more than happy to make this change and he agreed it was a ‘technical difference’ that they were happy to clarify.

However, this will come back before the board for final permission to be granted.

The three licences granted are provisional premises licences which last for four years, giving the company a chance to finish any refurbishment or building work.

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