Cornwall drivers cash in on local petrol discount

Image caption Fruit trader Ian Barrett faces a monthly fuel bill of more than £2,000

Motorists faced with rising fuel prices are getting 2p off the price of a litre of fuel thanks to an innovative new scheme in a Cornish town. The Saltash Card costs £2 and can be used to get discount fuel in two local petrol stations.

Cornwall fruit supplier Ian Barrett is counting the cost of rises in petrol on his firm's profits.

The bill for putting fuel in his firm's 18 vans hit more than £2,000 a month after petrol prices rose to record levels.

Tamar View Fruiterers, based in Saltash, Cornwall, makes trips around Devon and Cornwall every day, with each van racking up about 600 miles a week.

"Fuel costs have soared," said Mr Barrett, 40.

"They can't go on as they are because it's going to put people out of work and that's the last thing people want."

Some help was offered this week with the announcement by the local council that it had extended its local discount card scheme to include the BP and Texaco service stations at Carkeel roundabout on the A38.

Discount cards, which cost £2 each, were introduced to encourage people to spend money locally.

Mr Barratt said 2p off a litre was welcome, but with both petrol stations charging more than 131p a litre, fuel was still cheaper at other service stations a few miles away in Plymouth.

Image caption The Saltash Card was introduced to encourage people to spend money locally

"We'll consider it, but if they were the same price it would be more attractive to us.

"It's a great idea, but it might not be practical for us."

Councillor Joe Ellison, who negotiated the card deal with the service station managers, said: "Petrol prices are high in Saltash, so everyone has been going across the Tamar Bridge to Plymouth.

"But even a 2p reduction makes a big difference when you are filing your car up.

"And the card is aimed at bringing more people into a wide range of Saltash shops, not just the petrol stations.

"We have more than 1,000 card holders and about 25 businesses taking part.

"It's something positive for the town."

The manager of the Texaco station said the scheme was bringing in more customers every day since he joined it six weeks ago.

Nadarajah Inparaj said: "The area is a little bit expensive, but customers are getting the benefit.

"We have been getting 10-20 people a day coming in with the cards. People really appreciate it."

A spokesman for Moto Hospitality Ltd, which owns and operates the BP forecourt, said: "We are delighted to be part of this innovative scheme that rewards local people for using local retail outlets such as ours."

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