Anger is mou nting among motrorists after a new filling station opened for business - only to charge exactly the same per litre as its rival.
Hopes had been high that the development of a forecourt at Cawledge, on the southern edge of Alnwick, would end the Co-op-run Willowtree Services’ monopoly on the town’s petrol and diesel supply.
Back in January, the Gazette won an admission from Co-op – which is supplied by Total – that it charges as much as 30p a gallon more than other stations in the county because of a lack of local competition.
Northumberland Estates began construction on a £4million hotel development, including the filling station, at Cawledge last October.
Northumberland Fuel Services Ltd was chosen as operator, supplied by BP, but motorists were left reeling when the forecourt signs went on at the end of last week displaying exactly the same prices as its competitor.
Checked yesterday, a litre of unleaded was 138.9p and diesel was 141.9p at both stations.
By comparison, Asda in Ashington was 7p and 5p a litre cheaper respectively.
County councillor for Alnwick, Gordon Castle, said: “This is deeply disappointing. We can only hope that motorists vote with their wheels.”
The Gazette made several attempts to contact Northumberland Fuel Services Ltd, which is listed as a holding company, via its director, Paul Abbott, but was unsuccessful.