MP calling for fairer deal on petrol prices for Borderers

Jedburgh's Shell petrol station.
Jedburgh's Shell petrol station.

Borders MP John Lamont is accusing fuel firms of ripping off the region’s motorists and is urging them to cut their prices here.

Borderers are being charged up to 15p a litre more for fuel than motorists in neighbouring council areas further north, and Mr Lamont is calling on the companies responsible to justify that discrepancy.

Kelso's Jet garage.

Kelso's Jet garage.

According to the latest prices cited at www.petrolprices.com, the cheapest unleaded petrol in the Borders is 116.7p per litre at Asda in Galashiels, but elsewhere in the region, at Jet in Duns, customers are paying 124.9p.

The lowest price in Midlothian is 109.9p, however.

Many retailers are charging more in the Borders than in more remote parts of the west coast of Scotland.

In Oban in Argyll and Bute, for example, motorists can fill up their car for 119.9p per litre at three stations, and in Fort William in the Highlands, they can do so for 116.9p a litre at Morrisons.

The price even varies between the same companies’ outlets here and further afield.

Sainsbury’s in Kelso, for instance, is currently charging 119.9p per litre of petrol, but its Straiton Mains store near Loanhead, 40 miles away, is selling fuel 10p cheaper.

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP is now calling on petrol firms to review their prices in the region and has written to all filling stations here to offer a fairer deal.

He said: “Motorists in the Borders are clearly being taken for a ride.

“There is no excuse for this. Distribution does not make up a significant fraction of the cost of petrol, and other factors, like taxation and the price of crude oil, are, of course, the same across the UK.

“The Borders is hardly a remote region, being only 30 or 40 miles away from the central belt, yet many Borderers are paying more for their petrol than motorists in the Highlands.

“Big retailers like Sainsbury’s manage to sell potatoes for the same price in Kelso as they do in the central belt, so why are customers being charged nearly 20% more for their petrol?

“I’ve written to all fuel providers in the Borders about this, urging them to end this rip-off.”