Today the Free Press is launching a campaign demanding fair fuel prices for the people of Bridlington – with the full support of our MP Greg Knight.
Motorists in Bridlington are paying some of the highest prices in the region at 134.9p for unleaded and 139.9p for diesel – up to 4p per litre more than drivers in York and Hull – and even 2p more than Tesco in Hornsea.
This difference is so stark – and so unreasonable – that the Bridlington Free Press has written to Morrisons, Tesco and Esso, standing up for hard-pressed motorists by demanding they lower their prices to those available in nearby towns.
Mr Knight, who writes of his concerns over petrol price fixing in his column for the Free Press today, is supporting our campaign enthusiastically.
He said: “Well done to the Brid Free Press. The price of fuel ripples right through the economy, so it matters to every family and every business.
“Even if you don’t own a car, food has to get to us by road. It affects the price of everything, and the cost of living.
“I’m happy to back a campaign that’s calling for lower fuel prices.
“Hopefully it will shame the suppliers into cutting the price at the pumps and giving the people of Bridlington a fair deal.”
In Bridlington motorists have the choice of filling up at Morrisons, Tesco or the Bridlington Service Station on Scarborough Road - all of which are charging an identical £1.34.9 for unleaded fuel and £1.39.9 for deisel.
A spokesperson for Morrisons told the Free Press: “Fuel prices can vary slightly across the UK due to a variety of factors, which include competition amongst suppliers, transportation and logistics costs as well as the overheads associated with the real estate itself. Morrisons is committed to providing customers with fuel at prices that are among the lowest in each market.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our clear goal for customers is to be competitive on petrol and diesel in local catchment areas for each store, so Tesco does not operate with one national price. This is the case with all other petrol retailers in the UK.”
Where ‘price fixing’ ends and ‘local pricing’ begins seems difficult to pinpoint.
But there is one clear common denominator between towns that get cheaper fuel and those that don’t - the presence of an Asda.
A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: “The AA confirms when there is an Asda petrol station in town, everybody else lowers their prices. That’s because we are the only petrol retailer to have a national price cap guaranteeing a fair fuel price for our customers.”
One Bridlington man is furious about the high petrol prices in Bridlington - and has been made even angrier by the fact that Morrisons have side-stepped giving him a proper explanation.
John Emms recently went to York races and noticed the difference between prices at the Morrisons stores there and in Bridington.
Mr Emms, of St John’s Avenue, said: “I don’t see how they can justify this difference. There are more than four litres in a gallon, so that’s a differnce of over 16p per gallon.”
Mr Emms wrote to the supermarket, but the reply he received this week only made him more angry.
“It’s a page of waffle,” he said. “They send a long letter back but they don’t answer the simple question, why are prices higher in Brid?”
A difference of 4p per litre actually works out at 18.2p per gallon - the sort of price increase that would see widespread protests were it imposed nationally.
“What if they are doing this with their groceries, as well?” Mr Emms continued. “If they can price petrol according to what they think they can get, how do we know they aren’t doing this in other areas of their business, too?”