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Why are fuel prices 23p a litre cheaper in Norwich than in other parts of Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 08:04 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:34 22 April 2020

With the price of petrol and diesel tumbling to almost £1 per litre for the first time in years, some petrol stations in Norfolk are still charging above the national average. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

With the price of petrol and diesel tumbling to almost £1 per litre for the first time in years, some petrol stations in Norfolk are still charging above the national average. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

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Some Norfolk drivers are being forced to pay up to 23p per litre more for fuel just because of where they live.

With the price of petrol and diesel tumbling to almost £1 per litre for the first time in years, some petrol stations in Norfolk are still charging above the national average.  Picture: Liam McBurney/PAWith the price of petrol and diesel tumbling to almost £1 per litre for the first time in years, some petrol stations in Norfolk are still charging above the national average. Picture: Liam McBurney/PA

With the price of petrol and diesel tumbling to almost £1 per litre for the first time in years, some fuel stations in Norfolk are still charging above the national average.

The price of US oil plummeted into the negative for the first time in history on Monday, due to a collapse in demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Traders were being paid more than 40 dollars to buy a barrel of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for US oil, because of the falling global demand.

But even though the cost of oil is at a record low, people might not see that reflected when they get to the pump.

In Norfolk, the lowest prices for petrol can be found in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, where it is being sold for 102.9p per litre*.

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Meanwhile, customers in Diss, Attleborough, Fakenham and Holt are paying up to 125.9p per litre – 23p higher than in Norwich and 14.4p higher than the national average.

The same pattern applies with diesel as road users in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Yarmouth pay 108.7p while customers in Fakenham pay up to 16p more per litre.

A spokesperson from The AA said: “The average pump price is higher because the retailers say they need to charge 10p a litre more to offset the lower volumes of fuel they are selling.

“That means that some drivers, such as NHS and other essential workers, are using their cars and being overcharged on average by more than a fiver a tank.”

While delivery costs tend not to play too large a part in the overall pump price, excessive distances from fuel terminals can have a significant effect on prices in rural locations.

Other factors include local competition from other petrol stations and distribution costs.

A community nurse from Fakenham said: “I have to use my car every day to visit patients 
and I spend a good deal of my wages on fuel, but seeing the large price disparity between the fuel prices here in Fakenham compared to 20 miles away seems very unfair and almost feels like profiteering.”

*Fuel prices are correct as of April 21, 2020.


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