Fuel Prices In Inverclyde Highlighted With Regulator

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Fuel Prices In Inverclyde Highlighted With Regulator

A Government regulator could be set to step in over the unfair vehicle fuel prices which have sparked fury on the forecourts in Inverclyde.

The surge in petrol and diesel prices of late has led to a renewed focus on inconsistent prices being charged in the area compared with neighbouring places.

Research recently revealed how drivers are paying more to fill up their cars and fed-up motorists have been calling for a boycott of filling stations.

The area’s politicians have also hit out over ‘rip-off’ prices in place locally and have questioned supermarket and filling station bosses, demanding that they explain them.

Now, constituency MSP Stuart McMillan has urged a national watchdog to take action on the situation.

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it is to begin an in-depth study of the market amid the record fuel prices being charged – and following reports that different parts of the country are paying more than others.

The SNP’s Mr McMillan has written to the authority, urging them to consider Inverclyde as a case study in light of the study which revealed how local motorists pay more here than other places nearby – and in many other parts of Scotland, even including some remote locations.

He hopes that the probe will lead to a more level playing field at the pumps.

Mr McMillan said: “I am pleased that the CMA is launching a review into rising fuel pump prices across the UK.

“Clearly, the difference in prices in some areas compared to others is widening as prices soar, so I hope this investigation will result in recommendations being put to the UK Government to address this issue.

“Given how severe the situation is locally, I have written to the CMA’s chair, Jonathan Scott, to highlight how fuel retailers in Inverclyde are charging far more at the pump compared to garages only 20 miles away.

“It also doesn’t make sense that the prices here are on par with more rural areas in Scotland.

“I believe this makes Inverclyde an ideal case study for the CMA’s review, especially as it was ranked as the most deprived area in Scotland in a 2020 report.”

Mr McMillan says there is a real strength of feeling over the issue, so much so that he has started publishing a regular comparison of prices, to heighten awareness and ensure that drivers get more value.

He recently hit out at the lack of credible answers from suppliers over the disparity in charges and believes motorists will start taking their custom elsewhere unless the companies like Tesco, and Morrisons do a U-turn.

He said: “The people of Inverclyde are fed up of being told that the prices locally are competitive, and frankly so am I.

“The supermarkets’ localised pricing strategy has led to motorists, businesses, third and public sector organisations in my constituency having to pay more than those based elsewhere – and sadly, these higher costs have a harsher impact locally due to existing deprivation levels.

“Enough is enough.”

The CMA has now responded to Mr McMillan’s letter, urging locals to submit further information to inform the Market Study to RoadFuels@cma.gov.uk.

The full response can be viewed below:

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This article and image appeared in the Greenock Telegraph.

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