Let's return to fairer fuel prices in Whitby

An open letter to Sainsbury's store Whitby.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 7:26 am
The price of fuel at Sainsbury's in Whitby on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. A Gazette reader contacted Sainsbury's after learning that diesel sold at their Scarborough store is 4 pence cheaper per litre than Whitby.

When I came to Whitby many years ago now, it was noticeable that fuel prices were significantly higher than other Yorkshire areas I had worked in, and the local garages were all similarly pricing and were accused (rightly or wrongly) in letters to the Gazette of “cartel” area price fixings with no obvious competition between them.

The Whitby motoring community had little or no option but to buy locally at these alleged collaborative high prices.

Then along came Sainsbury’s, welcomed by the motorist (perhaps not the High Street), if just for the long awaited cheaper superstore fuel prices enjoyed by other parts of the country. This worked for a while and local garages had to adjust or price-match to compete.

Now a national newspaper has quoted the AA as saying that the motorist is being massively overcharged for fuel and the national supermarkets were rightly reducing their prices significantly.

The paper stated that motorists were now being charged £1.15 for unleaded petrol and £1.25 for diesel.

Really? The prices at Whitby Sainsbury’s and other Whitby garages on the same day were £1.25 unleaded and £1.35 diesel (if you’re 72 like me you will recall that that is nearly ten shillings a gallon more than other areas).

Why is Sainsbury’s fuel now the same as other local garages and why is it up to 10p a litre dearer than in Sainsbury’s and other superstores at York?

No-one would support or condone the criminal, illegal and stupid activities of the French who are demonstrating against high fuel prices (however, the anarchists appear to have succeeded in making President Macron back down and re-visit the planned petrol price increase).

No, we at Whitby put up with the extortionate local pricing without any fuss; we simply keep digging deeper and deeper into our pockets.

Do the local fuel suppliers care? I suspect not.

We are a captive audience in an era, if not an area of low wages.

So come on Sainsbury’s, follow your other national outlets and let’s have their prices and hopefully a return to a fairer and affordable, competitive market.

Sainsbury’s do not have any logical argument or excuse for dearer fuel than in their other superstores. Every other commodity on sale in the Whitby store is similar to other Sainsbury’s and priced to beat local competition, so why not fuel?

Geoff Cooling