M5 fuel cost signs fail to reduce service station prices

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Artist impression of M5 fuel signsImage source, PA
Image caption,
A report by Highways England has found no evidence of any savings at motorway service stations between Bristol and Exeter

Signs comparing fuel prices at motorway service stations have failed to reduce costs, a study has concluded.

Forecourt prices at five rest-stops along the M5 between Bristol and Exeter have been displayed since March 2016 in a trial aimed at promoting competition.

But a report by Highways England has found no evidence of any savings.

Motoring organisation the RAC said it did not know any reason why filling up on the motorway should be "on average 16p more per litre".

"We had hoped this trial would help to promote an element of competition among motorway services' fuel operators by overtly displaying prices to drivers, but sadly all it's proved is that motorway fuel is extremely expensive wherever you buy it," a RAC spokesman said.

"Motorway service area operators take advantage of drivers having to make 'distressed' fuel purchases," he added

Highways England said it would cost £50m to roll out the scheme across the country and there was "no case" for doing this, the study concluded.

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