Morrisons has cut 12p a litre from its petrol pump prices, and about 8p off diesel, in a move which will be welcomed by key workers struggling to get to their jobs in the NHS, utilities, construction, IT, food distribution, public sector depts and charities etc. As public transport is being scaled back, many shift workers in particular will have no choice but to drive or ride a motorcycle/scooter to work.
Asda, which is usually the cheapest of all the UK supermarkets, followed suit and also cut 12p per litre off their prices.
The move follows a worldwide collapse in crude oil prices as demand for many oil-based products, not just fuel, continues to fall. But as social media highlighted, many Brits took to the roads yesterday as shopping, eating out and other activities were not available.
So will a huge price drop simply encourage more joy-riding around beauty spots, seaside resorts and National Parks? Let’s hope not. Fill up your Triumph Stag Colin, but then please polish it up and put it back in the garage.
Reacting to the news that Morrisons is the first supermarket to cut fuel prices by an historic amount – 12p off per litre of unleaded petrol in one go – RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:
“These unprecedented times are leading to unprecedented price cuts on fuel – the largest single cut from a retailer we’ve ever seen. The price of oil has fallen so far – down to an 18-year low – that it was inevitable that pump prices would eventually follow suit.
“These savings will directly benefit those people who continue to rely on their vehicles for essential journeys. It is vital however that drivers heed government advice and only travel if it absolutely needed.
“Drivers can expect to see petrol sold at supermarket forecourts for around 104p per litre as a result of these cuts, a price last seen nearly four years ago. Diesel should drop to around 111p per litre, and it was last sold at this sort of price in July 2017.
“However, there is a darker side to these price cuts. Smaller independent forecourts who will already have been struggling due to a loss of trade recently will be extremely hard-pushed to reduce their prices at the present time with fewer people driving. It’s crucial they stay in business as they provide such an important service to drivers in parts of the country where the supermarkets have no footprint.
“Drivers need to take sensible precautions when filling up – follow the social distancing guidelines and use disposable gloves when handling pumps or indeed electric car charge point nozzles.”