As the Ukrainian conflict carries on, the rising cost of living has only been made worse by the surge in fuel prices.
In fact, fuel prices have reached a record high with the average price for unleaded in the UK hitting 165.40p per litre, according to the latest figures from the RAC Foundation. Data also shows that diesel prices have risen sharply, shooting up to 176.76p per litre on Thursday (March 17).
While the government is blaming the Ukrainian conflict for disrupting the regular flow of oil, thus surging fuel prices at the pump, the cost has generally been rising over the last few years – bar a dip in pump prices at the start of national lockdown. Over the past 12 months, the price of oil production has grown by a hefty 60 per cent.
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Despite there being some money-saving fuel pumps available in Manchester, it is hard to ignore the overall increase in average costs for both fuel and diesel. Diesel can set you back up to 182.9p a litre if you’re not careful about finding the cheapest pumps. Unleaded can hit similar spikes, with prices peaking at 164.9p a litre according to Petrolprices.com.
The Manchester Evening News has gathered together some of the more expensive forecourts within a five-mile radius of Manchester city centre and compared their prices today with the cost of petrol over the past few years according to old pictures of the stations seen on Google Maps.
Sainsbury’s Heaton Park
Sainsbury’s Heaton Park petrol station has been reported as one of the most expensive in the past week, with unleaded prices up at 163.9p a litre and diesel currently priced at 177.9p. However, just a few years ago prices were much cheaper – with a picture from June 2016 putting both fuel prices at 107.9p a litre.
Prices have clearly fluctuated over the years, with a shot from June 2012 listing unleaded for sale at a higher price of 126.9p whilst diesel was going for 131.9p. In August 2015, pump prices were on the drop, showing 112.9p for unleaded and 108.9p for diesel.
By August 2019 this dip in prices had already begun to reverse, with fuel up to 123.9p for unleaded and 126.9p for diesel. April 2021 brought prices of 118.9p for unleaded and 121.9p diesel, up to 132.9p and 133.9p respectively by August 2021.
Asda Hulme has seen some of the highest diesel costs over the last few weeks, with fuel prices currently sitting at 174.7p and unleaded down at 162.7p. However, just 18 months ago the store was flogging fuel for 108.7p for petrol, and 111.7p for diesel – even lower than the prices seen at the pumps in 2008 (109.9p and 120.9p respectively).
This petrol station has seen a huge range in prices over the last 15 years, all captured on Google Maps because of the major road nearby. In July 2019, before the pandemic price plunge hit, prices were at 124.7p for unleaded and 125.7p for diesel.
A shot from March 2017 shows prices at 112.7p and 114.7p for petrol and diesel – up from the 108.7 and 109.7 prices seen in September 2016. May 2016 had even cheaper prices on the pumps, with unleaded costing 106.7p and diesel at 105.7p.
July 2014 had the pumps sitting at 127.7p and 131.7p, with prices at 135.7p/139.7p for petrol and diesel in October 2012, and 134.7p and 135.7p in May 2011.
Bancroft Service Station
Bancroft Service Station on Droysden Road, operated by BP, had one of the highest costs, with unleaded at 166.9p and diesel up at an eye-watering 182.9p – one of the biggest gaps between the two fuel prices in Greater Manchester. Just six months ago the costs were massively lower – with fuel in September 2021 sitting at 133.9p and 136.9p respectively.
Another fuel station that’s seen varying prices over the years, Bancroft Service Station has seen prices dip and peak according to Google Maps – with petrol costing 126.9p a litre this time last year (131.9p for diesel), a similar price to the pre-pandemic dip of 128.9p in July 2019 (132.9p for diesel).
In August 2018 fuel would have set you back 129.9p for unleaded, with diesel costing 132.9p a litre. Back in June 2017 you’d be paying 115.9p whichever fuel you were buying, whilst June 2015 had prices at 117.9p for petrol and 120.9p for diesel.
August 2012 had prices up at a hefty 140.9p for petrol and 143.9p for diesel – one of the highest price points in recent history for the station. Drivers would happily welcome back June 2009’s prices of 104.9p or 106.9p for petrol or diesel respectively, whilst the prices a year earlier of 116.9p or 112.9p would still be better than what we’re stuck with now.
Tesco Stretford Extra
With petrol prices up at 163.9p for unleaded, and 173.9p for diesel, Tesco Stretford Extra isn’t cheap, but it’s pretty much in-line with the rest of the pumps across the region as prices continue to rise. Just seven months ago, August 2021, Google Maps has shown prices at the supermarket down at a much more reasonable 133.9p for unleaded and 135.9p for diesel – showing the price gap between the two fuels had grown dramatically.
Fuel has been fairly cheap since the pandemic began, with the pumps at Stretford Extra selling unleaded at 112.9p in January 2021, with diesel at 115.9p. In November 2020 prices were even cheaper, down at 109.9p and 113.9p respectively.
Even before the pandemic began prices were fairly reasonable, with unleaded prices at 121.9p and diesel at 130.9p in April 2019. The price gap between the two fuels was much slimmer a year earlier, with fuel setting drivers back 125.9p for unleaded and 127.9p for diesel in June 2018.
July 2017 had the pumps selling both fuels for 110.9p, down from 115.9p unleaded and 117.9p diesel in March of that year. April 2016 also had even prices for both fuel, 106.9p, with October 2014 seeing drivers fork out 123.9p for petrol and 127.9p for diesel.
Texaco Kingsway, was one of the most expensive stations we visited, with unleaded up at 167.9p per litre. However, its diesel prices were slightly lower than some of the other more costly stations, sitting at 180.9p. Google Maps showed a whopping 54p difference between current diesel prices and the most recent recorded by the service, with pumps charging drivers just 126.9p for diesel in April 2021 (123.9p for unleaded).
The Kingsway station was another well-documented set of pumps, with price history available in pictures from the navigation service throughout the last 15 years. Fuel in April 2019 set drivers back 123.9p for petrol and 132.9p for diesel, a much wider gap between petrol and diesel than in May 2018 when the two cost 128.9p and 131.9p respectively.
July 2017 had almost even prices for the two fuels, 114.9p for unleaded and 115.9p for diesel, down from 118.9p and 121.9p for both in March of the same year. April 2016 had the lowest recorded price at the station, 107.9 for unleaded and 106.9 for diesel, down from 113.9 and 119.9 in May 2015.
Heading back to October 2012 shows petrol prices at 140.9p, or 145.9p for diesel users, whist an old relic of a photo from September 2008 shows fuel at 112.9p for unleaded and 122.9p for diesel.