Price up

I would like to bring to the attention of the hard-pressed motoring public one of the most blatant price increases yet inflicted on us by one of the major oil companies.

I have been using Esso road maps for a number of years, finding them very useful and, in the past, cheap, so that they could be replaced economically from time to time as they became out of date or too tatty to use.

Initially they cost 6d., then 1s. On the occasion of decimal coinage this was celebrated by a price increase to 7 1/2p. The latest edition is now for sale at a price of 12p, or 28.8d. at the old rate, an overall increase of 480% on the original price. Although we are now conditioned to accept meekly some price increases as inevitable, this transcends the “credulity” gap.

Obviously motoring maps of this kind are subsidised and intended as advertising matter (in this case for Esso Motels) and I suggest that this objective has been lost sight of somewhere along the line. A set of eight maps at 96p makes one wonder whether it would not be more economical to buy that famous Book of the Road.

P. Everard.