Plans for £50million petrol and diesel prices signs on motorways scrapped
A £50million plan to roll out signs displaying live fuel costs at service stations along motorways has been scrapped
An official report revealed the 18-month trial by Highways England had failed to slash inflated motorway fuel prices.
Drivers branded the trial a “waste of money” as they were still left paying more than ten per cent extra at service stations compared to supermarkets or local forecourts.
The boards were tested on the M5 Southbound between Bristol and Exeter (Junctions 18-30) with prices from Shell and BP garages at five motorway services included.
The four signs, installed in March 2016, each displayed petrol and diesel prices at the upcoming stations in a bid to drive down prices.
But a study of the trial revealed fuel prices didn’t fall and motorists were still charged a premium.
Analysis of the trial did reveal slightly less people ran out of fuel than before but Highways England said it wasn’t cost effective to roll out the signs further.
The £50million nationwide plan has now been shelved and current trial signs will be “decommissioned”.
To save cash Highways England may re-use some for new messages in the future.
Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman, said: “We had hoped this trial would help to promote an element of competition among motorway services’ fuel operators by overtly displaying prices to drivers, but sadly all it’s proved is that motorway fuel is extremely expensive wherever you buy it.
“This has been a very costly trial that has unfortunately confirmed what we already knew that motorway service area operators take advantage of drivers having to make ‘distressed’ fuel purchases.
“The RAC does not know of any reason why buying fuel on the motorway should be on average 16p a litre more expensive than buying it elsewhere.
“We urge the Government to investigate fuel pricing at motorway services to make it fairer for every motorist who needs to fill up at one.”