Daventry’s MP Chris Heaton-Harris has hailed a drop in petrol prices in the town, following a meeting with Shell executives.
Mr Heaton-Harris met representatives from the international company along with concerned residents at the end of July in London to discuss the high petrol prices in Daventry, which he said were driving consumers away.
Mr Heaton-Harris said: “They were very up front and honest with us. When my campaign started, prices were about 135.9 pence per litre. I drove round looking at the prices and I couldn’t see any logic to it at all.”
Mr Heaton-Harris launched a petition in May, which has attracted more than 1,000 signatures. Since then he has attempted to increase increase the pressure on petrol suppliers to bring prices into line with nearby towns.
He said: “My job is to try and maintain as much public pressure on petrol retailers in town.
“If a supermarket petrol station came to Daventry that would help keep prices down.”
When the Daventry Express went to print, the price of petrol at the Shell Junction Services in London Road stood at 128.9p per litre for unleaded, 2p cheaper than some stations in Rugby and matching the average for Northamptonshire.
Mrs Kirstie Thirde, 43, from Watford village, also attended the meeting. She said: “It was good to hear the reasons why prices were the way they were. It was still disappointing because petrol prices are still going to be higher than other areas. It pushes people away from shopping. It will mean you are cutting people out in Daventry like pensioners who can’t afford to go out of the area.”
She added that a supermarket petrol station would help bring prices under control: “Havng a big supermarket would help. They tend to match prices.”
Part of the problem of petrol pricing is that low demand from consumers can force up prices as suppliers attempt to recoup their running costs. The results are spiralling petrol prices which further alienate motorists.
Mr Heaton-Harris said: “While prices are reasonable we need people to use these services. But I know the punters in Daventry are savvy, it won’t be easy to get them to break that habit.”
“We’ve made some progress in this journey, but there is still some distance to go.”