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Isles rally against high fuel prices

Alasdair Allan: inquiry call
Alasdair Allan: inquiry call

A PUBLIC protest against high road fuel prices in the Western Isles is being staged tomorrow.

The protest rally is being held while Sam Chambers, the boss of wholesaler Scottish Fuel, meets MP Angus Macneil at Stornoway over the issue.

Campaigner Erica Macdonald, who has set up a Protest for Fair Fuel page on a social networking site, said that it was important for “as many supporters as possible to turn up so we can let them know we are not happy with the prices they charge”.

Many rural motorists are forking out £7 a gallon in the Western Isles and the soaring prices are a hot topic with islanders as it costs around £1 a gallon extra to buy fuel in the Hebrides compared with the mainland.

Retailers say they only apply 5p or 6p to the wholesale cost per litre, turning the attention on to UK giant supplier GB Oils which operates Scottish Fuels as a division of its business.

The Treasury recently revealed it received European agreement for a 5p discount on each litre of fuel yet islanders would still pay more if rises in the wholesale price continue their present trend.

Motorists are flummoxed that fuel from the one refinery is transported by the same ship at the same time to Inverness and the islands yet there is such a wide variation in the prices at the respective destinations.

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan wants the Scottish Parliament to hold an inquiry into the Scottish Fuel monopoly in the Hebrides while Western Isles Council is under pressure to set up a special fuel price task group to campaign about the extra high cost.

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