Paying the price for stores’ petrol

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CAN representatives of Scarborough’s two big supermarkets which sell fuel (Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) explain why they are selling petrol and diesel here at 5p or more a gallon than in larger towns and cities?

For instance, in York, Sainsbury’s petrol at the weekend was 6p a litre less than in Scarborough.

A few minutes of research on the internet reveals that last year Sainsbury’s contracted a national company to transport some of their fuel using tankers which hold 42,800 litres of fuel. Using basic maths I’ve worked out that if Sainsbury’s use a tanker of this size to bring fuel to Scarborough, via York, then the profit the company will make from customers in Scarborough is £2,568 more than selling the same volume in York. I’m sure that it doesn’t cost Sainsbury’s an extra £64.20 a mile to bring fuel to Scarborough, so maybe the managing director would like to explain why we pay so much more than York, or is the real answer that we are subsidising the cheaper fuel in the big towns and cities because competition forces down the prices there?

Charities like ourselves provide transport for our members free of charge because we know that they are on limited incomes, but without the door-to-door minibus service we offer to bring them to social gatherings at our resource centre, we know that many would never leave their homes.

However, the increasing cost of fuel is becoming quite a drain on our resources.

If supermarkets can sell all their other goods in the supermarkets at the same price throughout the country I’d like to pose this question: “What is different about fuel? It’s just another commodity they sell, and which attracts customers, so why charge more in this town than in York?” After all, to some people, especially in more rural areas, fuel for transport can be almost as vital as fuel for the body.

Viv Wright

Chief Officer

Scarborough Blind and Partially Sighted Society

The Resource Centre

Dean Road

Scarborough