Petrol prices are set to drop all over city
SPECIAL REPORT: Some relief for motorists... but it won’t last
RELIEVED motorists are expected to make the most of a price war that could see fuel prices drop in garages all over the city.
Forecourts and garages in Peterborough are expected to follow Morrisons’ move last night to cut its petrol prices by two pence a litre.
This latest drop means that prices at its forecourt has come down by seven pence over the last month.
Mark Todd, a national spokesman for Morrisons, said: “After seeing continued reductions in the price of oil we are taking the opportunity to bring down prices at the petrol pump.”
The cheapest fuel price found by The Evening Telegraph yesterday was at The Horsey Filling Station, where it cost 135.8p a litre for unleaded and 141.8p a litre for diesel.
Industry experts have suggested that Morrisons’ decision could spark off a price war if the other large supermarket garages follow its lead.
John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, warned that the dip in fuel prices could be short-lived.
He said: “It is difficult to understand the logic of the ups and downs of petrol prices except that they seem to go up much quicker than they come down.
“This period of falling prices will probably be short-lived as the Government is to raise tax of fuel by three pence per litre in August.
“We are urging the Government to scrap this tax increase. Anything that eases the pressure on people and businesses is welcome.
“It is always the motorist who ends up paying and we would welcome a reduction in the cost of petrol.”
He added that if the Government truly believed that the economy was key, ministers needed to provide the mechanism and environment in which it can thrive.
The threat of strike action from tanker drivers in April saw motorists fearing petrol pumps could run dry and queuing to fill up their tanks.
The spike in demand saw some garages driving their prices up as they came close to running out of fuel.
With the threat of strike action now over, prices are rapidly returning to previous levels, and have dropped.
That has ironically led to market experts predicting another spike in demand.
However, directors of service stations are urging people not to buy in bulk even if the price drops considerably.
Woodgrange Services Station, a Jet Garage in Lincoln Road, Werrington, was charging 137.9p a litre for unleaded and 143.9p a litre for diesel yesterday.
Cavan Driscoll, the garage’s director, said: “If the price started to come down people would start to buy it more again.
“Our next delivery is not until Saturday, so our cost won’t go down until then, even if Morrisons and the other supermarkets drop their prices.
“If we go down by two pence we would be losing money. But if the prices in the area go down, we will drop down as well at the weekend.”
According to www.petrolprices.com, the highest prices in Peterborough yesterday were 144.9p a litre for unleaded and 147.9p a litre for diesel.
The lowest prices it recorded were 135.9p a litre for unleaded and 141.9p a litre for diesel.
Nationally, the average unleaded petrol price hit a record high last month of 142.48p a litre for unleaded and 147.88p for diesel.
An AA spokesman said the prices are still too high. He said: “We are still only talking about small drops after a large increase in price.
“The record national average high was 142.68 pence, and now the price is at 138.31 pence. Even if every other garage drops prices by two pence, that will still be too high.
“Rather than dropping four to six pence, they should be dropping at least 10 pence. It is a small drop compared to the rise we saw.
“But the message would be to definitely not panic buy just because it is a couple of pence cheaper. Luckily, I think people have more sense than that and I don’t think there will be an unmanageable rush for it.”
The price drop is also good news for haulage companies, whose clients had been forced to pay more because of the increase in charge for drivers to fill their vehicles.
Simon Brett, managing director at Brett’s Transport in Guyhirn, said: “We absolutely welcome the price drop. We buy from a wholesaler but we have seen it go down as well.
“We were paying up to 117p a litre without VAT but now it’s down to 111p.”
price drop: Drivers filling up at The Horsey Filling Station, in Whittlesey Road, Stanground, Peterborough.