Motorists and businesses in the Borders are being charged too much despite a recent fall in oil costs, leading experts have warned.
The RAC have today (Tuesday 5th June 2018) released analysis stating that petrol prices rose by 6p a litre in May, the biggest monthly increase since the RAC began tracking prices 18 years ago.
Average UK petrol prices hit 129.4p a litre, while average diesel prices rose by 6p to 132.3p a litre. Most petrol stations in the Scottish Borders continue to charge more than these average prices, up to 132.9p for a litre of petrol.
While these increases were initially sparked by rising oil costs and a weaker pound, the Brent Crude price has since fallen back. This has not resulted in any reductions in the price at the pump, leading to criticism for industry experts.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams described May as a “hellish month for motorists.”
AA’s fuel spokesman Luke Bosdet explained: “Less than a month ago, the petrol retailers were falling over themselves to warn of pump prices at record levels. Now that the price of oil has fallen away and fuel costs have followed, in true form they have kept quiet and carried on charging cash-strapped motorists the maximum for their fuel.”
The news comes after it was revealed that in the Scottish Borders, motorists were being charged up to 20% more for their petrol compared to those in neighbouring council areas.
John Lamont MP is calling for the UK Government to look at tax cuts for areas like the Borders and to set up an independent price monitoring body.
Commenting, John Lamont MP said: “Motorists in the Borders are already being taken for a ride, being charged significantly more than neighbouring areas and even more than remote parts of the Highlands.
“For many people in the Borders, driving is a necessity, not a luxury and the noticeable rise in petrol prices last month will be hitting people’s pockets.
“While oil costs and worldwide issues play their part, current pump prices are higher than they need to be as petrol company HQs and wholesalers exploit motorists by not reducing pump prices when oil prices fall. Independent petrol retailers are doing their best, but all too often, petrol prices rise like a rocket and fall like a feather.
“I believe the time has come for the Government to look more closely at this and to consider both further tax cuts for rural areas and an independent price monitoring body to make pricing changes at the pumps more transparent.”