A couple’s bid to rescue a threatened filling station in rural Suffolk for the benefit of local motorists has ended in disappointment.

The ailing forecourt at Wortham, on the A143 between Bury St Edmunds and Diss, was bought in 2002 by local farmer Geoffrey Warren. Now he has admitted defeat and the business is expected to close down soon.

Geoffrey puts this decision down to a lack of support from the community he wanted to serve, but admits that his fuel prices were up to 15 pence per litre higher than those at Safeway in nearby Diss and the BP site along the A143 in Stanton.

“Some locals were loyal but others only bought a splash of petrol here when they had to and filled up more cheaply elsewhere,” he said.

The closure decision was taken all the more reluctantly because further money had been invested in upgrading the forecourt facilities.

Now it is likely that the site will be flattened and used for a small housing development.