Is your local petrol station selling diesel below unleaded?

Is your local petrol station selling diesel below unleaded?

Drivers across the UK are familiar with diesel being sold for a higher price per litre than unleaded petrol. Currently, the average diesel per litre price is just below £1.57, while unleaded retails on average at £1.49. However, some stations are bucking the trend and are selling diesel at or below the level of unleaded.

We have identified just over 70 stations across the United Kingdom where diesel prices are below unleaded. This is less than 0.5% of stations in the UK, so it’s still a very rare sight.

Are they selling unleaded at a high price?

Many of the stations pricing diesel below unleaded are smaller independent operators and are generally in more rural areas. So, these tend to sell fuel at a higher price than the national average. However, 28 petrol stations are pricing unleaded below the current national average, and there isn’t a trend to indicate higher-than-normal unleaded prices for these stores.

Essar in Grindley Brook is currently chaarging diesel at 141.9ppl and unleaded at 143.9ppl, both significantly below the UK average. (30/04/2024)

In our analysis, only one supermarket station had diesel and unleaded priced at the same value. That is Sainsbury’s Kelso in the Scottish Borders. The price of both products is 152.9ppl (30/04/2024). It’s a good deal for diesel drivers, but it’s the highest unleaded of any Sainsbury’s petrol station.

Gulf was the most common brand to have diesel at or below unleaded, with 13 locations meeting this criterion. These sites do tend to be in rural areas, so both unleaded and diesel can be higher than the national average. However, this isn’t always the case.

Gulf Oasis in Long Riston near Hull is currently pricing diesel at 147.9ppl and unleaded  at 148.9ppl (01/05/2024)

Drivers in Northern Ireland are the most likely to see diesel prices at or below unleaded. Twenty-five of the stations are in Northern Ireland. So, not only are you likely to pay less in Northern Ireland for unleaded or diesel, but you are also seven times more likely to pay the same or less for diesel than you are in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Is petrol cheaper than diesel?

So, will we see more of this?

Possibly. Diesel isn’t trading at a premium to unleaded in the wholesale market. Where independent retailers are pushing down on diesel prices, supermarkets will need to follow suit to see a wider change in the pricing status quo.

Brent crude oil prices have fallen slightly from the start of April, when they touched $91 a barrel. Prices did gain some momentum in the last week of April before falling away slightly to close the month a little over $86 a barrel.

We have also seen Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons drop diesel prices in the last few days while unleaded has remained constant. However, with the average difference between grades hovering around 7- 8 pence per litre, there is a long way to go before the majority of drivers see price parity between grades at the supermarkets.

Do you have a station near you that’s selling diesel below unleaded? Share your experience in the comments below.

BBC Panorama Highlights Further Smart Motorway Safety Concerns

BBC Panorama Highlights Further Smart Motorway Safety Concerns

BBC Panorama has discovered that the technology behind England’s smart motorway network regularly stops working.

In a recent TV episode, Panorama detailed information that showed hundreds of incidents when crucial safety equipment was out of action.

What is a Smart Motorway

Smart motorways are stretches of road where technology is used to regulate traffic flow and ease congestion.

There are three types of smart motorway currently in use:

Controlled motorway, where the hard shoulder is still available for use in an emergency and speed limits are variable and controlled via a regional traffic centre. This covers 140 miles of motorway.

Dynamic hard shoulder, where vehicles can use the hard shoulder at peak times and speed limits and lane use is controlled by the regional control centre. Emergency breakdown areas are available at intervals on these stretches of motorway, which cover just over 60 miles of the motorway network.

All lane running, where there is no hard shoulder. The regional traffic centres control speed limits, emergency breakdown areas are available, and lanes are marked as closed if a car breaks down in the inside lane. There are around 193 miles of this type of smart motorway.

BBC Panorama Highlights Further Smart Motorway Safety Concerns

Safety Concerns

Radar and cameras are used to spot broken-down vehicles, and electronic warning signs are then utilised to close affected lanes. However, there have been many instances where broken-down vehicles have been left stranded in a stream of fast-moving traffic, and emergency vehicles have struggled to get through to an incident.

Concerns over the safety of smart motorways led the government to announce last year that it was halting the roll-out of new smart motorways and would provide additional money to make the existing network safer.

Figures released following Freedom of Information requests by Panorama show that between June 2022 and February 2024, there were 392 incidents when motorway technology lost power, making it difficult to detect when a vehicle has broken down. These outages sometimes lasted days.

In addition to the power fault issues, Panorama found that in 2022, the radar system designed to spot stationary vehicles had 2,331 faults, the average lasting more than five days. National Highways says the radar detects 89% of stopped vehicles, but that means one in 10 are not spotted.

At least 79 people have been killed on smart motorways since they were introduced in 2010. National Highways’ latest figures suggest that if you break down on a smart motorway without a hard shoulder, you are three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than on one with a hard shoulder.

However, although 150 additional emergency refuge lay-bys were supposed to be built by next year, only 13 have been completed so far, and 34 are under construction.

In response to the Panorama programme, National Highways says reinstating the hard shoulder would increase congestion and that there are well-rehearsed contingency plans to deal with power outages. It also stated that “smart motorways are our safest roads”.

Pump prices rise 4 pence in a month

Pump prices rise 4 pence in a month

If you have been to a petrol station recently, you may have noticed prices have been increasing once again.

Crude oil, from which unleaded and diesel are refined, had been increasing in price from mid to late March and has continued this trend into April. Brent Crude now sits shy of $90 a barrel, a price not seen since October 2023. This is an $8 (10%) increase in the last 30 days.

We now have more price updates than ever, with over 200,000 price updates each week.

October 2023 saw prices for unleaded and diesel at £1.54 and £1.62, respectively, around 4% higher than where they are currently. This was the start of a decrease in price as we headed into the new year. Prices at the pump bottomed around mid-January. Since then, prices at the pump have increased steadily, taking a brief slow-down in March before the recent increases.

These crude price increases have, in turn, pushed prices at the pump north, with average unleaded prices sitting around £1.48 and diesel at £1.56.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco had been the lowest-priced supermarkets leading into April. Both have increased prices since the Easter Bank Holiday, along with all other brands. Sainsbury’s currently has the lowest average price of all brands. They also have a low pricing spread across their petrol stations. This means that no matter where you are in the country, the prices are quite consistent.

Morrisons has the lowest pricing spread of any brand

Morrisons has the lowest pricing spread of any brand, but price increases in the last few days may make them less competitive than the other supermarkets.

Asda, which has historically been the lowest-priced brand, wasn’t as competitive as the other supermarkets across March and increased prices towards the end of March when other supermarkets were able to hold their prices. Since then, however, their prices have held and are now in line with those of other major supermarkets.

Brighton, Dumfries and Glasgow are among the highest-priced regions in the UK, with Bolton and County Down enjoying the lowest prices.

Checking the PetrolPrices app ahead of filling up is the best way to ensure you can make an informed decision on where to buy. We have been working hard to improve our service, and we now have more price updates than ever, with over 200,000 price updates each week.

The outlook for prices over the next week is quite bleak for drivers. Brent Crude prices have been increasing over the last couple of weeks, and we haven’t yet hit October pump prices when crude was at a similar price.

Crude prices have, however, found some resistance at $90 and fell back slightly over the past few days, with news that Israel had reduced its troops in southern Gaza and began a new round of ceasefire talks with Hamas.

How do prices look locally near you? Have you seen them increase? Let us know in the comments below.

UK Fuel Prices: 6th March 2024

UK Fuel Prices: 6th March 2024

Last week, the average UK price of unleaded petrol reached just over £1.45 for the first time since 6th December 2023. This is a 3.4% increase from a month ago. The year-to-date low point was in the middle of January when prices dipped below the £1.39 mark but have been increasing weekly since. The end of February saw drivers pay 4ppl more at the pump than at the start of the month.

Diesel drivers are also paying more than at the start of the year, with the average diesel price reaching over £154.5. Diesel price rose 4.5ppl during February.

Wholesale Brent Crude Oil, the main product component of unleaded and diesel, has been driving the increase in pricing at the pump. However, prices have started to hold steadily around $83 a barrel. Investors are balancing OPEC+ supply cuts with uncertainty surrounding interest rate changes and lingering demand concerns.

The impact of this is that pump prices may start to become steadier in the short term as wholesale prices slow their rate of increase.

Tesco has become the cheapest supermarket brand in week 10 of this year, taking the crown usually reserved for Asda or Morrisons. If Tesco holds firm on prices and gains market share, this could help bring Asda and Morrisons’ prices down. This, in turn, may help reduce the market across the board. However, if Tesco increases prices, we may see prices hold or increase slightly elsewhere. Asda dropped unleaded prices slightly from week 9 into week 10. How this evolves will play a big part in the UK pricing as a whole in the next week or two.

Tesco also has the tightest pricing spread of all brands. This means that your pricing will be similar no matter where you are in the country. In contrast, bp has the widest spread. In general, brand-specific pricing spreads have narrowed through 2024. This is an indication that pricing is more consistent regardless of location.

That being said, Chester and Cumbria drivers are the worst hit when it comes to pricing, having to pay more than 5ppl above the UK average. These regions, along with Dumfries, also have the broadest range of pricing. Making it essential to shop around for prices to ensure you are paying a fair price.

If Tesco holds firm on its pricing and with the market easing up, we may have slightly better news on pricing in March than in February. Large pricing decreases feel unlikely, but small regional reductions and a market that can hold steady for a week or two should be possible.

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spring Budget at which he announced that the government is extending the temporary 5p cut in fuel duty rates for a further 12 months (until March 2025).  The planned inflation increase in fuel duty for 2024-25 has also been cancelled and, taken together, this will maintain fuel duty rates at current levels for another year and represents a reduction of around 7p per litre for main petrol and diesel rates in comparison to previous plans. 

UK Fuel Prices 5p cut in fuel duty rates for a further 12 months

What are your thoughts on the fuel duty freeze? Let us know in the comments. 

Exploring Car Leasing Options on Auto Trader: A Comprehensive Guide

Exploring Car Leasing Options on Auto Trader: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you in the market for a new vehicle but unsure whether buying outright is the right choice for you? Car leasing could be the solution you’re looking for, offering flexibility, lower monthly payments, and the opportunity to drive a brand-new vehicle without the long-term commitment of ownership. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of car leasing available on Auto Trader, one of the leading platforms for buying and leasing vehicles in the UK.

Why Leasing a Tesla Could be Your Best Bet

Tesla, known for its innovative electric vehicles, has been making waves in the automotive industry. Leasing a Tesla through Auto Trader can offer you not just a stylish ride but also significant benefits. With Tesla’s cutting-edge technology, you’ll enjoy state-of-the-art features such as Autopilot, over-the-air updates, and impressive electric range. What sets Tesla apart in the leasing market is its high residual value, translating to lower monthly payments compared to traditional combustion-engine vehicles. Plus, with the growing infrastructure of Tesla Superchargers nationwide, charging your leased Tesla is more convenient than ever.

Exploring Entry-Level Electric Cars like the Nissan Leaf

For those looking to dip their toes into the world of electric vehicles without breaking the bank, entry-level options like the Nissan Leaf offer an enticing proposition. Leasing a Nissan Leaf through Auto Trader provides a cost-effective way to experience emission-free driving without compromising on features. With its spacious interior, smooth ride, and impressive range, the Leaf proves that electric cars can be practical and affordable. Additionally, leasing ensures you can upgrade to newer models as technology advances, keeping you at the forefront of electric vehicle innovation.

Exploring Car Leasing Options on Auto Trader: A Comprehensive Guide

Unlocking Business Leasing Opportunities

Businesses looking to refresh their fleet or provide employees with company cars can benefit greatly from leasing options available on Auto Trader. Leasing offers tax advantages for businesses, with monthly payments often being tax-deductible. Moreover, leasing allows businesses to conserve capital that can be allocated to other areas of operation, providing financial flexibility. With a wide range of vehicles available for business leasing, including electric and hybrid options, companies can align their fleet with sustainability goals while reducing fuel and maintenance costs.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of electric vehicles, seeking an affordable entry into the leasing market, or exploring options for your business fleet, Auto Trader offers a plethora of leasing opportunities to suit your needs. From cutting-edge Teslas to practical Nissan Leafs and versatile business leasing options, there’s something for everyone. So, why wait? Head over to Auto Trader today and discover the perfect lease for your next ride.


Paris Voters Back Large Increase in SUV Parking Fees

Paris Voters Back Large Increase in SUV Parking Fees

On Sunday, 4th February, voters in Paris voters backed a proposal from the city’s socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo, to triple parking charges on SUV-style cars. Parisians voted 54.5% in favour of charging cars weighing 1.6 metric tons or more €18 (£15) per hour for parking in the city centre or €12 further out. However, only 78,000, or 5.7%, of the 1.3 million eligible voters turned out to vote in the referendum.

The prices will apply to vehicles weighing more than 1.6 tonnes with a combustion engine or hybrid vehicles and more than 2 tonnes for electric vehicles. The move will not apply to Paris residents’ parking, and taxi drivers, tradespeople, health workers, and people with disabilities will all be exempt.

Paris City Hall representatives have described safety concerns about taller, heavier SUVs, which they see as “twice as deadly for pedestrians as a standard car” in an accident. The vehicles are also singled out for taking up more public space, whether driving on the road or parked, than other vehicles. Paris officials say the average car has put on 250 kilograms (550 pounds) since 1990.

Paris Voters Back Large Increase in SUV Parking Fees

Under Hidalgo, Paris has raised pressure on drivers by increasing parking costs and gradually banning diesel vehicles. The city has reduced the number of on-street parking spaces to make drivers use underground parking. City Hall said there was a 71% rise in the use of bikes between the end of the Covid lockdowns and 2023, with an extensive network of cycle lanes built to discourage driving.

The move is mainly aimed at people from the suburbs who drive into the centre of the capital for the day. Hidalgo has been in office for almost ten years. Under her tenure as mayor, many Paris streets, including the banks of the river Seine, have been pedestrianised.

Drivers’ groups attacked the scheme; Yves Carra of Mobilite Club France dismissed the SUV classification as “a marketing term” that “means nothing”. He argued that the measures would not cover compact SUVs but affect family-sized coupes and estate cars.

France’s Environment Minister Christophe Bechu told broadcaster RTL the SUV surcharge amounted to “a kind of punitive environmentalism” while suggesting drivers should “opt for lighter vehicles.”

Hidalgo’s transport minister, David Belliard, of the Green party, says around 10% of vehicles in Paris would incur higher parking fees, which could bring in up to €35 million per year. Paris’s anti-SUV push has not gone unnoticed elsewhere in France, with the Green party mayor in Lyon planning a three-tier parking fee for residents and visitors starting in June.

Last year, Paris held a similar vote on whether to ban rented electric scooters and became the first European capital to do so. The turnout for that vote – 103,000 people, about 7% of registered voters – was higher than Sunday’s SUV vote.

Would you support fee’s like this for SUV’s in London and other UK major cities? Let us know in the comments. 

Asda Fuel Forecourts Go Cashless and Unstaffed

Asda Fuel Forecourts Go Cashless and Unstaffed

The supermarket chain Asda recently went cashless and closed staffed kiosks at 14 of its fuel forecourts attached to nearby superstores. The company announced that this change will be rolled out to a further 68 locations by this summer.

A spokesperson added that out of the 300 fuel forecourts attached to Asda superstores, over 150 were already unstaffed.

The supermarket chain Asda recently went cashless and closed staffed kiosks at 14 of its fuel forecourts attached to nearby superstores.

“The majority of customers who use our drive-thru Superstore fuel stations use pay at the pump and over 90% of all payments are made on a card or contactless device, the colleagues who worked on these sites are moving into the store so they can better servce our customers. These conversions began in December and we expect to complete the changeover later in 2024.”

In addition to the 82 Asda fuel forecourts that will be cashless and automated, there are several other forecourt brands that have switched to an unstaffed model in a number of their locations. Both Gulf and Tesco operate a number of automated unstaffed sites, as does the Nicholl Auto 365 brand in Northern Ireland. It is a common practice in other European countries. In 2022, over 18% of Spanish fuel stations were unstaffed, with the number increasing significantly after the pandemic.

Read more about ASDA and their pricing here.

Is it worth paying more for premium diesel or petrol?

Is it worth paying more for premium diesel or petrol?


Choosing premium fuel will likely cost you more at the pump than standard fuel, but there can be some benefits to using it. In this article, we will cover the various performance and efficiency benefits premium fuel can provide – and its potential drawbacks. We’ll also take a look at the various types of premium fuel on the market and how they differ from one another.

Why choose premium fuel?

If you have a high-performance vehicle, you may have to fill your tank up with premium fuel to ensure it runs effectively, as powerful engines can struggle with regular octane oil. However, even if you drive a non-performance vehicle, you might want to invest in premium fuel so that the engine runs to the best of its ability, flushing out any deposits left from high mileage or overuse.

What is premium petrol?

What is premium petrol?

Premium performance petrol, also known as super fuel, is petrol that has a higher Research Octane Number (RON). Octane is one of the chemical components within petrol, and the amount of octane in the fuel will affect how well the petrol will work in higher compression engines. Standard petrol usually has a RON of 95, whereas premium petrol has a higher RON of around 97 – in some cases, reaching up to 100.

Advantages of premium petrol

One of the main advantages of premium petrol is that it has an official rating. Unleaded premium fuel has an octane rating which shows how well the fuel resists pressure and premature ignition. Premium petrol can also help to reduce friction, resulting in cleaner engine components and a more efficient performance.

Older vehicles in particular might benefit from additional cleaning with premium fuels – using premium petrol for a couple of full tanks can create a cleaner, more efficiently running engine.

Disadvantages of premium petrol

The only cars that really need premium petrol are high-performance vehicles. There isn’t any physical proof or research to show the benefits of premium petrol, apart from the claims made by those who produce them. Premium fuel also costs considerably more than standard petrol, so you’ll find yourself more out of pocket when filling up.

UK petrol grades

In the UK, the most common types of petrol are regular unleaded, premium 95 and premium 99. Let’s take a look at the two most common petrol grades you’ll find on UK forecourts:

Is it worth paying more for premium diesel or petrol?

E5 petrol

E5 petrol is made up of 95% unleaded petrol plus 5% ethanol. As with E10, it’s important to check your model’s suitability before filling up with this fuel. Cars made before 2002 are usually not compatible with ethanol. E5 is generally what is sold as regular unleaded petrol.

E10 petrol

E10 fuel is a blend of regular unleaded with 10% ethanol and is now widely available at most petrol stations. Most cars will run on E10, but it’s important to check your model’s suitability before doing so. At the pump, E10 is usually cheaper than unleaded petrol because it’s commonly made from sugar cane, wheat, or sorghum, and it’s subsidised. Although it’s cheaper to fill up, E10 can increase fuel consumption, particularly when used initially.

Unleaded vs super unleaded

Unleaded is the standard fuel available, and what you’ll find at most petrol pumps. Super unleaded petrol is usually a higher-octane version of this fuel. Super unleaded petrol usually has a rating between 97 and 99 RON.

Ethanol-free petrol

Whilst most modern cars won’t see any issues running on E5, classic cars, for example, will really struggle, as they aren’t built with ethanol in mind. You will have to seek an ethanol-free petrol if you require this. ASPEN is an ethanol-free petrol, found across the UK.

What is premium diesel?

Premium diesel, unlike premium petrol, doesn’t usually feature a higher octane rating, as diesel engines don’t ignite fuel to create power. Instead, premium diesel features chemicals in its mixture that are designed to shift soot deposits and other build-up from the engine’s fuel system.

Advantages of premium diesel

Premium diesel might help your engine to run smoother and cleaner, which can improve performance and economy with regular use. This may be more noticeable with older or higher mileage vehicles than with brand-new cars that haven’t yet had time to develop engine build-up. Some drivers report that it has also contributed to a cleaner Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) with fewer warnings and issues, but this isn’t scientifically proven.

Disadvantages of premium diesel

Premium diesel is only really worthwhile if a vehicle has had the chance to accumulate sediments within the engine. If not, then you probably won’t notice too much of a difference when using premium diesel and it’s considerably more expensive at the pump. And, as diesel is more expensive than petrol anyway, this might not be the best economical option.

What is cetane in diesel?

Cetane is a chemical compound naturally found in diesel, igniting easily under pressure. Its high flammability ensures that it serves as the industry-standard measure for evaluating fuel combustion quality. Therefore, all diesels will have a cetane number, and this number will be higher for premium diesels.

Supreme diesel vs normal diesel

As we’ve already mentioned, supreme diesel has a higher cetane rating than regular diesel, meaning it will help your car to ignite faster. This is particularly beneficial for cold starts. It can also contain cleaning agents which will lessen any build-up within your engine.

Premium petrol and diesel vs LPG fuel

LPG stands for ‘Liquefied Petroleum Gas’, and is made of propane and butane. It’s cheaper than regular petrol and diesel, but cars need to be specifically converted to run on the gas. It’s highly efficient, better for the environment than premium fuels, but not every car is equipped to run on it.

LPG fuel’s limited availability also presents a challenge for its users. At present, 368 UK fuelling stations offer LPG for public sale (just 4% of the total number), whereas petrol and diesel fuel are available everywhere. So, bear in mind that if you opt for an LPG vehicle, you’ll have to plan journeys a little more carefully.

Although there is a relatively widespread concentration of LPG stations throughout the UK, availability falls a little short of the public’s needs and is now dwindling. Earlier this year, the Motor Fuel Group (MFG), the UK’s largest independent forecourt operator announced that they will remove auto-LPG from all their forecourts by 2024.

Fuel additives

You might have seen bottles of fuel cleaner littered around petrol stations, boasting benefits such as increased fuel economy and lower emissions. They are available for both petrol and diesel, however, they won’t really make much of a difference unless you drive an old car. Similar fuel additives are already present in premium petrol and diesel, so simply filling up with a tank of premium fuel will achieve similar results.

Is it worth paying more for premium fuel?

If your car is less than ten years old and has a mileage under 80,000, there probably won’t be too many benefits of using premium fuel, unless it’s a performance vehicle. However, if you’ve found that your car has been feeling a bit knackered, try filling your tank up with a high-octane fuel next time to see if you notice any change. Premium fuel is usually touted to contain additives that clean the fuel system of the car, which can be especially effective for any carbon deposits inside the combustion chamber. Cleaning your engine in this way can help to prevent damage, subsequently preserving some of your car’s resale value. To get a free 30-second estimate for your car, use our simple Car Valuation tool.

2023 Fuel Prices: Unleaded fell to a year low in December.

2023 Fuel Prices: Unleaded fell to a year low in December.

December 2023 saw unleaded prices drop to their lowest point of the year, dipping just below a daily average of £1.40 per litre. Diesel drivers also benefited from lower pricing as prices fell from a daily average of £1.54 to £1.49 during the month. However, this was not as low as prices during June and July.

Unleaded fell around eight pence over the year but did reach a daily average of  over £1.56 in October before falling back in November and December.

Diesel also saw an increase from July to October; however, the highest prices were at the start of the year in January.

Between June and October, as unleaded prices rose, Sainsbury’s had the lowest-priced fuel of all retailers, taking over from Asda and Morrisons as the market leaders. As the wholesale prices fell through November and December, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all priced closely with each other. There was less than a penny difference on average between the main supermarkets. This contrasts with the period of increase earlier in the year, where we saw over three pence between Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Diesel saw a similar trend, with the four supermarkets pricing similarly as prices fell. As the prices rose after July, Sainsbury’s had the lowest-priced diesel of all the retailers. However, Asda were also very close on price as they both drifted below Morssions and Tesco.

At the other end of the pricing spectrum, bp and Shell shared the title of the most expensive brand, with bp starting the first half of the year as the most expensive retailer before Shell took over and closed the year as the most expensive brand.

Will unleaded and diesel prices increase during 2024?

Middle East tensions are putting upward pressure on energy prices; however, Saudi Aramco, the largest oil group in the world, is also trying to maintain market share and has cut prices in Asian markets for February. This comes as OPEC raised output to try and offset supply concerns in the Middle East.

In the UK, the excise duty was cut from 57.95 pence per litre (ppl) to 52.95 ppl; this temporary cut in duty has already been extended. It remains to be seen if duty will be put back up, particularly in an election year.

It will be interesting to see how these issues affect pump pricing and if local factors play a significant role in the fuel retail market. But as we saw in 2023, brands and individual stations can become more or less competitive over time. So, check prices regularly and help other motorists by confirming or adding prices in the PetrolPrices app.

2023 fuel prices. Diesel saw a similar trend, with the four supermarkets pricing similarly as prices fell.
Greater Manchester Drops Plan for a Clean Air Charging Zone

Greater Manchester Drops Plan for a Clean Air Charging Zone

Greater Manchester has backed away from charging drivers of more polluting vehicles for entering the city. A Clean Air Zone was due to come into effect across Greater Manchester in May 2022 but was pulled in February 2022 for a review following a public backlash. Work has since been ongoing to find ways to bring Greater Manchester’s air quality in line with legal limits without adding expense to the taxpayer. Proposals to reduce air pollution in Greater Manchester were presented on 13th December, with the region’s leaders insisting their latest proposals would “deliver clean air faster than a charging zone could”. Under the latest plans, £86m, which has already been awarded to Greater Manchester by the government for clean air projects, would be spent on initiatives such as zero-emission electric buses, improved electric charging infrastructure, a clean taxi fund and measures to improve traffic flows. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority says these measures will reduce emissions more quickly and effectively than the planned chargeable Clean Air Zone.

Greater Manchester Drops Plan for a Clean Air Charging Zone

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said on a radio call-in, “There will never be a Clean Air Zone charge while I’m mayor.” He told listeners: “I don’t think we’ll get working class people behind the drive to net zero if it’s about tax, charges, bans on things – basically making their lives suffer more. The only way we can do it is to give people incentives to do the right thing.” Andy Burnham said he was concerned about the financial pressure the clean air zone charges would have had on Greater Manchester drivers.

The new plan is expected to go before the Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee on 20th December, which is recommended for approval. After that, Mr Burnham’s new plan will be taken to Westminster, where he hopes it will receive government support.

Burnham insisted he was not avoiding politically difficult decisions by jettisoning the charging zone. He said the decision to take Greater Manchester’s buses back into public control — which resulted in a legal challenge from the bus sector — had been “seismic” and was now fundamental to the new clean air plan.

“The way to do this was not to push people into hardship, to threaten people’s businesses and livelihoods,” he said. “The path to net zero has to be to take people with it rather than seeking to punish people.” He belives his alternative plan would be fairer than previous proposals to charge the drivers of more polluting vans, taxis and lorries.

Other major English cities, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bradford and Bristol, have all introduced charging zones to tackle air pollution. However, charging drivers of polluting vehicles has become an increasingly contentious political issue. London mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to extend the capital’s clean air charging zone was widely held responsible for Labour’s loss of the Uxbridge by-election in July, bringing the issue to national attention.