Motorway service areas are charging up to four times the high street price for basic food and drinks, according to new research.
With few other options available to them, motorists are expected to fork out up to £2.09 for a 500ml bottle of water that would cost 95 pence on a London high street.
Prices of other food products are equally exorbitant: a basic cheese sandwich was found to cost £3.99 at some motorway service stations, as opposed to just £1.00 on a nearby high street, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), a road safety charity.
Yes, obviously. Motorway service stations are local monopolies. They thus price with some measure of monopoly power.
The IAM is calling for a full review of motorway prices. In France, filling stations are forced to advertise their competitor’s fuel prices alongside their own, and the IAM would like to see a similar policy in the UK.
“High petrol prices will put people off filling up. Forcing stations to advertise their competitors’ prices would drive costs down.”
There\’s a much simpler answer. Make sure that each service station has two petrol stations, two cafes, two etc etc and make sure that they are always owned by different people.
They way to beat monopolistic practices is to uproot the monopoly.