Motorists on the Fylde Coast have hailed the fall in fuel prices as petrol dipped below £1 a litre for the first time since June 2009.
Asda and Morrisons have both cut the cost of petrol to under £1 a litre, raising the stakes in the Christmas price war.
I think the falling petrol prices are great
The Asda price drop, falling by 2p to 99.7p, will last the weekend, while Morrisons said it hopes to keep its everyday price of 99.9p for “as long as possible”.
Asda said the price of diesel will also be cut to 103.7p per litre, while Morrisons will cut its by 1p to 103.7p as international Brent crude dipped below $40 a barrel this week.
Staff at Morrisons on Squires Gate Lane said they were busier than usual as motorists made the most of the lower petrol prices.
Driver Rosaleen Johnson, 69, of Princeway, said; “I think the falling petrol prices are great. I usually put £30 in but that gave me the incentive to put £40 in - because you don’t know when prices will go up again.”
Ray Wilde, 73, from Lytham, said: “It always makes a difference. It probably means I will drive my car a bit more. I always like to keep the tank full but I think this fall in prices is just another blip. It will be back again.
“They reckon it’s down to demand throughout the world for fuel.”
But Stef McPheely, of Common Edge Road, said: “It’s not really a big a deal - they are not going to be barricading the station. It’s better but it’s not a big drop. I use gas and apparently that will come down to 49p from 53p but why they have to wait I don’t know.”
Jane Wright, 44, from South Shore, said: “I never really consider the petrol prices.
“I suppose less than £1 is really quite good but I get my fuel back on tax so I never really look at the price.”
Hugh Evans, for The North and Western Chamber of Commerce, said the price drop would be a welcome relief for businesses and their staff.
He said: “Our members have been badly hit by the high prices they have had to pay for the price of fuel.
“This is a major overhead for many of them and so a drop in the price charged by some of our major supermarkets will be greatly welcomed.
“What we wouldn’t want to see happen now is for the Chancellor to view this as an opportunity to raise extra revenue by increasing fuel duty”.
Taxi drivers in Blackpool too have welcomed the move.
C Cabs’ Dee Grant said: “The cheaper the better as far as we’re concerned.
“It is a great help and will help offset the other rising costs such as insurance.
“The majority of our drivers use diesel but quite a few use petrol so they will be pleased.”
Frank Landini, chairman of the Blackpool Licenced Taxi Operators Association, said it was great news.
He said: “It is going to benefit all our drivers and all our customers.
“Over this last six months the continued falling prices of fuel have probably saved drivers £5 to £10 a week, so it is not a small thing for them.”
John Coombes, of Fylde Executive Cars, said fuel costs were a major concern for businesses. He said: “We have taken a pro-active approach with many hybrid vehicles to tackle the costs. But this drop in prices is a benefit and may help to balance other rising costs and the fact that across industry the effects of cut-backs are now really starting to become apparent.”
Bryan Burger, petrol retail director at Morrisons, said: “Today, for the first time in more than six years, we are moving unleaded prices down to below £1-a-litre.”
He claimed the average car driver will now save £17 a week since the petrol price peak of May 2011.