Never mind a university, Peterborough needs an Asda filling station!

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

It’s been the age old question which has infuriated Peterborough drivers for years – why does fuel cost more in the city than neighbouring areas?

The difference was notable the first time I filled up my car after I moved to the city two decades ago, and it’s not changed since.

These days we regularly fill up our car in Grantham (where Mrs T does some work) and a trip to the Norfolk coast is never complete without a stopover at Sainsbury’s in King’s Lynn to top up the tank.

We had a day out at (not so) sunny Hunstanton last Sunday and unleaded was 115.9 with diesel at 125.9.

Doing a spot of research for the PT’s Looking Back column I came across a reader’s letter in the January 10, 2001 edition which, yes you’ve guessed it, bemoaned the fact that petrol prices in Peterborough were higher than elsewhere.

Now at least, thanks to the Peterborough Telegraph’s Stephen Briggs and his story last week, we know why.

According to the AA the reason is because Peterborough does not have an Asda store with a filling station.

Asda,the motoring organistation explained, has the lowest prices and so forces others to follow suit.

I checked and, yes, both Grantham and King’s Lynn have Asdas which sell fuel – although whether they did 20 years ago I don’t know.

In truth I’m only partially convinced by the answer.

I think Howard Cox, founder of pressure group Fair Fuel UK also has part of the answer.

He said: “Pure opportunistic greed in the fuel supply chain dictates what we pay at the pumps.’’

There is hope for Peterborough motorists though because last year Asda sought, and was granted, planning permission for a filling station at its Rivergate store.

Forget a university, a concert hall or more homes, this is one development the city really needs to go-ahead!