Well, sorry for the gloomy lead story, but that seems to be the shape of things in many people’s eyes. The continuous financial onslaught on the motorist, coupled with the general economic outlook, seems to be catching up with sales at the pump.

Even I am beginning to consider the cost of a journey by road - ie the cost of hitting the sales at Bluewater plus the fuel - and I don’t go anywhere without my car.

Cycling is too dangerous (and generally my journeys are too far unless I’m going to properly hit the Lycra!). Public transport - well unless you’re travelling into London by train, it’s hopeless. I certainly don’t have the time or patience to travel by bus.

So it’ll be a long time before I can give up my car, and I’m sure that’s true of many motorists. The fuel prices are softening, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference to the £80 it costs to fill the tank.

Even after a tedious trip around a Sainsbury’s supermarket (sorry guys) to get a 5ppl-off voucher, the total saved on a full tank of fuel was just a couple of quid. Hardly worth the effort.

Who knows how much deeper and darker the situation will get? It’s not possible for businesses to change gear overnight. What is possible is to maximise the opportunities where they do exist, and by all accounts the shop is even more important, as customers appear to be trying to buy in small quantities as they go along. They’re apparently trying to cut down on trips to the supermarket.

Sounds like a very good plan to me!