10:08 Wednesday 23 October 2013

Fuel costs in the Ely area: Why do we pay more?

Written byJORDAN DAY

Motorists in Ely are fed up with paying more for fuel than anywhere in the region, and say they are being forced to drive elsewhere to fill up.

Frustrated drivers say it is not fair that the price of petrol and diesel is higher in East Cambs than in any surrounding district, including Huntingdon, Cambridge, Downham Market and Norwich.

And Ely-based A10 Taxis says prices are even higher than they are in cities like Nottingham.

Local commuter Mark Davey, of Bellairs, Sutton, said: “I regularly commute from Sutton to Huntingdon and Cambridge and I am becoming more and more annoyed about the premium that petrol stations surrounding Ely are adding to the price of petrol and diesel compared to surrounding areas.

“During the week commencing October 14, fuel prices in Huntingdon were in the region of 3 or 4p a litre cheaper than in the Ely area.”

Martin Lane, a partner at A10 Taxis, says fuel prices in the Ely area have been too high for years. He said: “Fuel prices here are astronomically high and have been for as long as I can remember.

“The prices are higher than they are in Cambridge and even higher than places like Nottingham.

“None of us really know why but it isn’t fair at all. The majority of our drivers fill up outside of the area whenever they can but it shouldn’t have to be like that.

“Our fuel bills are around £4,500 a week but thankfully our turnover is high. If it wasn’t then we’d certainly struggle.”

Mr Davey said: “Are the ground rents/outgoings for petrol stations in Ely so much more expensive than in Huntingdon, Cambridge, Downham Market or Norwich?

“Or are petrol station owners just taking advantage of local residents because most will feel that it’s not worth travelling to take advantage of cheaper fuel available elsewhere?”

Sheila Williams, a spokeswoman for BP, which has numerous petrol stations in East Cambs, said: “Fuel prices vary in different locations due to a number of factors.

“Those factors include the current prices of crude oil, the distribution costs to an individual site and the local marketing of each area.

“Many petrol stations are also owned by dealers who are able to set their own fuel prices. Three quarters of our sites nationwide are owned by dealers.”

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