Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Will monitoring cut fuel prices?
Petrol companies are constantly being called on to drive down the cost of fuel.
Rising prices are hitting private motorists and hauliers hard, and even the man in a small van, the tradesmen, electricians, joiners and plumbers who travel around the country earning a living, are being penalised at the pumps, as revealed in a study by business network BeLocal earlier this year.
But now changes could be afoot to make it easier on motorists’ pockets.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening has called on fuel retailers to set up their own code of practice so consumers can monitor daily petrol or diesel prices.
If the industry doesn’t do it, the Government plans to introduce legislation.
Motoring groups and fair-fuel campaigners have long complained of the slowness of filling stations to lower pump prices if world prices fall.
David Kershaw, proprietor of DSN Glazing Services in Bradford, told the T&A previously how his small business had felt the impact of rocketing fuel prices, estimating he was spending double the £100 a week he was spending on fuel four years ago.
He welcomes the Government taking action to help reduce fuel prices. “I suppose anything which will bring prices down is going to help out,” says David.
A spokesman for Low Moor hauliers MC Logistics also welcomes the move, saying: “If they regulate it, it will be a lot better.”
Paul Bentley, who runs Bentley School of Motoring in Bradford, says fuel is his highest cost. “Anything to reduce the price at the pumps is good as far as I am concerned. I think it is a good idea.”
AA president Edmund King says: “Over the past seven years we have asked governments to act against the blurred world of UK pump prices, which every driver knows shoot up like a rocket and fall like a feather.
“MPs have joined the chorus of complaints against postcode lottery pricing where some towns charge up to 5p a litre more for their cheapest petrol, compared to another town down the road. Yet nothing happened.
“At last, we have a Transport Secretary who is prepared to act to win a better deal on fuel prices for consumers.
“This month, the German government announced a move towards fuel-price regulation. The Austrians have already implemented regulations and, even with a weaker euro, their pre-tax petrol prices remain cheaper than the UK’s.
“The Danes already have a system of price reporting and transparency up and running. Clearly, patience is running out with record fuel prices across Europe, and there is a will to act.
“The AA supports a move towards transparency on fuel prices. However, with record prices cutting sales by five per cent last year and 76 per cent of AA members cutting back on car use, other family spending or both, regulation has to remain an option.”
But Quentin Willson, national spokesman for FairFuelUK, says: “It’s a bit rich for Ministers to try and deflect the issue of pump prices to the oil companies and retailers. It is the Government themselves that takes a staggering 81.5p per litre in fuel duty and VAT on every litre sold.
“Worse still, the Government is sticking to its plan to add another 3.6p of combined fuel duty and VAT on August 1. This move borders on the desperate.
“FairFuel UK has proved with independent research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research that it can actually cut duty and be no worse off.
“A cut of 2.5p per litre would create 175,000 new jobs, boost growth and leave the Treasury no worse off due to the tax take on the economic growth. The solution to the fuel price crisis lies firmly inside the doors of Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street.”
Transport Secretary Justine Greening says: “Petrol prices go up instantly when wholesale prices rise, but when there is a reduction it can take weeks for cuts to be transferred to the pumps.
“It is unacceptable for motorists to be penalisd in this way and I want fuel retailers and supermarkets to make a commitment to play fair and pass on reductions in full.”