The drop in the price of fuel is a boon for hundreds of motorists and hauliers across Peterborough, reports Paul Grinnell:
Fuel prices at filling stations across Peterborough are dropping with the prospect of petrol at just £1 per litre starting to come into view.
The price cuts have been powered by the supermarket giants, with Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda are all reducing prices by 2p a litre on both petrol and diesel.
It follows the recent halving of the oil price, with Brent Crude now costing less than $55 a barrel. Six months ago it cost $115.
Across Peterborough petrol stations were displaying ever lower costs for a litre of petrol or diesel (figures compiled 6 January).
At Tesco, in Hampton, the price of a litre of petrol was 108.9 pence while diesel was priced at 115.9 a litre.
The filling station at Morrisons in Cardea is charging 109.9 pence for a litre of petrol and 116.9 pence for diesel. It is a tad cheaper at the Whittlesey Road filling station where petrol is 108.8 pence a litre and diesel is 116.8 pence.
The Esso station in Peterborough Road, Whittlesey had prices of 110.9 pence a litre of petrol and 116.9 for diesel while the Delph Garage in Whittlesey was charging 110.9 pence for a litre of petrol and 118.9 for diesel.
The RAC has predicted that prices could get as low as £1 a litre.
A spokesman said: “The cuts are bringing us ever closer to the £1-per-litre average for petrol.
“Of course it would also be an extremely welcome move for motorists and businesses alike.”
Fuel prices are now at their lowest for five years.
A spokeswoman for the Road Haulage Association, which is based in Bretton, Peterborough, said: “The falling price of fuel is very welcome news for motorists and for hauliers and leaves more money in people’s pockets.
“But this is only a short term gain and it will not be long before fuel prices start to rise again.
She said: “The real problem is the amount of tax imposed on fuel.
“For every litre of petrol that leaves the refinery there is 57.9 pence to pay in tax. Then VAT at 20 per cent is charged when a driver fills up from a filling station. Ten pence per litre is the delivery and handling cost and so the actual price of a litre of petrol is just 31p.
She said; “We went to see a 3p cut in the fuel duty. This will help the economy and help create jobs. A freeze on fuel duty is just putting sticking plaster on the problem.
“Hauliers are under tremendous strain from the high costs of fuel- many jobs have been lost because of the cost burden.”
Andrew Howard, managing director of PC Howard, in Stamford Road, King’s Cliffe, who runs 100 lorries, said: “we buy in bulk and the price has already dropped from 110 pence per litre to £1.
But he said: “I think we are in a pre-election bubble and that fuel duty and so the cost of petrol is likely to rise after the general election.
Muhammad Arif, owner of Adams Taxis, in Station Road, Peterborough, runs a fleet of 20 diesel fuelled 20 cars,
He said: “The price of fuel might be falling but the cost is still quite high. The slight fall has not really had any impact on us at all.
“The industry is very competitive so it’s difficult to put the cost of the fares.
“The cost of fuel takes a big chunk of our profits.”
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “The falling price of fuel is very good news for many hundreds of working families in Peterborough.
“A year ago a litre of petrol cost about £1.60 - we have made good progress since then.”
But Mr Jackson did not hold out much hope for a reduction in the amount of tax raised from fuel.
He said: “If you want first class public services, such as good schools and hospitals then the Government has to look at the quickest and simplest ways of getting revenue and fuel is one of those.”
“Oil companies must make sure they pass on the reduction in wholesale prices.”