THE closure of Lyndhurst’s last petrol station – which is set to shut for good this week – has been branded a great loss to the village.
Pat’s Garage in Romsey Road was established in 1936, and as well as selling fuel it offers car repairs and maintenance. The site is also home to a Picador car dealership.
An employee who did not want to be named told the A&T the site had to be vacated by the end of the month.
The workshop has already been emptied and the car sales area was already closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
He added: “The car industry is struggling everywhere and coronavirus hasn’t helped. We have about 12 staff here but we have been asked if we would like to take voluntary redundancy or possibly move to another branch.”
Chairman of Lyndhurst Parish Council, Cllr Chris Willsher, called the closure “very sad”. He told the A&T: “It’s been a community feature for years and it’s a loss we can ill afford, particularly following the closure of Budgens and the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.”
Cllr Hilary Brand, the district councillor for Lyndhurst, added: “It is another blow for Lyndhurst. They have provided a fantastic service for the village for a number of years.
“Picador has not only provided car servicing, sales and petrol but have always been hugely supportive and participated in the wider village community, providing funds to support events like the Christmas Fun Weekend.
“They also provide needed footfall into the village when their service customers pop up to the High Street for a cuppa and a wander round the shops. I think they will be truly missed by residents and businesses alike.”
Resident Edward Buckmaster told the A&T: “We have lost banks, other petrol stations and the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.
“I know things change but we are losing it all. Now there will be nowhere local to get repairs done [and] the nearest garage for fuel will be Brockenhurst and Cadnam.”
A Picador spokesperson was unavailable for comment.