Fuel costs driving us out of Worksop

Worksop motorists could be paying more for their petrol because of a simple lack of competition.

When the Guardian checked prices around town on Wednesday drivers filling up at Sainsbury’s and Tesco were paying 134.9 pence per litre for petrol - compared with 131.9 pence down the road in Mansfield.

Jet in Worksop were also charging 134.9 pence per litre for petrol, with Total charging 135.9 pence.

But over in Mansfield motorists can fill up for as little as 130.9 pence per litre at Morrisons and Esso and 130.7 pence at Asda. In Dinnington and South Anston people can refuel for 131.9 pence per litre at Tesco and Shell.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said he could not go into detail about individual stores but confirmed that company policy is to ‘react to local competition’.

He continued: “If a competitor is cheaper we aim to match or beat their price. We do not have a national pricing policy. Instead we review our petrol and diesel prices regularly to ensure we always provide customers with great value.”

“We price locally so we can quickly react to the movements of other filling stations and are always competitive.”

A Tesco spokesman said it was normal for prices to vary between areas. He added: “As is the case with all other petrol retailers in the UK, Tesco does not operate with one national price.”

“Our clear goal for customers is to endeavour to be competitive on petrol and diesel in the local catchment area for each store.”

But that doesn’t help drivers in Worksop who are forced to pay inflated prices.

Taxi driver Kevin Batty said the prices in Worksop were ‘crazy’.

“It’s just one of those things we have to cope with. If you get a run out of town you take the chance to fill up for less.”

“You only have to go as far as Tickhill to find a difference. Fuel is much cheaper there.”

“It doesn’t happen often, but if I go out to Rotherham, you can go to the Asda and fill-up for a lot less.”

A fellow taxi drive agreed adding: “Tesco is always seems to be the first to put prices up, then they all do it.”

“Maybe if the new Asda has a petrol station that might help get the prices down. But they might see what the others charge and charge the same.”

And its not just people who make their living from driving who are sick of paying the price at the petrol pumps.

Many Worksop motorists are voting with their wheels and driving out of town to fill-up.

“I receive email updates from petrolprices.com and the difference is shocking,” said Donna Sleight.

“Prices here yo-yo, 1p up one week, 1p back down the next, never really getting anywhere with any savings for the motorist. If I’m out and about and see petrol at a lower price I will stop off and buy some so Worksop doesn’t get my trade every time.”

“I live and work in Worksop,” said Tom Law. “I try to fill up when I’m elsewhere. If I have to put petrol in here I’ll just put £20 in and get more at cheaper places when I can.”

“Each Tesco charge the same prices for all the food they sell so why can’t they do the same for petrol?”

But there could be light at the end of the tunnel, after Asda pledged its commitment to bringing a new supermarket and petrol station to Worksop late last year.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann believes increased competition would drive prices down, saying: “It is wrong that supermarkets choose to profit from areas away from the big cities and Worksop needs more competition to force prices down. I anticipate that the new Asda will help do that.”