SELF-SERVICE petrol stations have been outlawed in the city of Madrid, a move that will affect one in five premises.
A new bye-law has been introduced requiring at least one employee to be on the forecourt, or in the shop and available to help, at all times.
Throughout Spain as a whole, only 5% of service stations have no staff, whilst in Madrid this rises to 20%.
A few months ago, Valencia's regional government outlawed the burgeoning new trend of 'low-cost' petrol stations, which were self-service only and unstaffed, allowing their owners to offer cheaper fuel.
The Generalitat Valenciana said it would encourage other service stations to make their employees redundant in order to compete, and that, where the only petrol pump available on a long journey was self-service only, the driver would have no option but to take the risks involved in filling up him or herself.
Disabled persons and new drivers often need help filling up, and are completely stuck if there is nobody on the forecourt to help them, the Generalitat recalled.
Now, all service stations in the Valencia region must have at least one staff member on the premises during all opening hours.