Tesco have declined Stuart McMillan MSP’s invite to a roundtable discussion on the high cost of fuel in Inverclyde – while Morrisons and BP have not even responded his letters and emails on the matter.
The Greenock and Inverclyde SNP MSP has been in contact with the three main suppliers of fuel in Inverclyde for a number of years through his Fair Fuel campaign, but as of yet, none are prepared to cut their pump costs locally.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“I started the Fair Fuel campaign because, as an MSP, I spend much of my working week in Edinburgh where I regularly see diesel and petrol prices there that are up to 10 pence less per litre compared with garages in Inverclyde.
“The Greenock Telegraph has supported my efforts to get BP, Tesco and Morrisons to lower their prices as Inverclyde motorists are paying more to fill up their vehicles if they choose to do so at one of the local garages. This affects local businesses too.
“I have asked each of the businesses who operate petrol garages locally to engage with me in a roundtable discussion with the local Chamber of Commerce. I saw this as an opportunity for them to explain why Inverclyde motorists are paying more for fuel than drivers are from surrounding local authority areas.
“However, it is increasingly apparent that Tesco, Morrisons and BP have no interest in outlining to local businesses and drivers why they are being treated unfairly, just because of where they live and work.
“According to the Competition and Markets Authority, businesses can charge a different price for the same product in difference areas if there are contributing factors, such as transport costs. Yet Asda are capable of offering drivers across the UK who fill up at their garages the exact same cost.
“It would seem that if we had an Asda petrol garage in Inverclyde, it would force the other providers to lower their pump prices.
“I’m also aware that in some remote areas where there are even fewer petrol garages available to drivers – which you would think would result in higher fuel costs due to less competition – actually offer lower pump prices than in Inverclyde.
“This campaign isn’t about encouraging people to use their cars more – I’m fully aware that we need to move people out of their cars and onto public transport. This is fundamentally about fairness, and the people of Inverclyde being charged more than other like-for-like constituencies.
“For some people, public transport is not an option – for example, people who work night shifts, who may be required to commute outside of public transport operating hours. Regardless, punishing Inverclyde drivers is unjustified and I want to see an end to these inflated prices.
“I find it unacceptable that Tesco are not prepared to engage in a roundtable discussion, and find it downright disrespectful that Morrisons and BP have chosen not to even respond to my letter.
“I will subsequently post the pump costs of all the local garages on a regular basis, so my constituents can make an informed decision on where they wish to fill up their tanks. I would however urge Tesco, Morrisons and BP to reconsider.”