Driver seeks price parity

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A CARNOUSTIE motorist believes something should be done to ensure fair fuel prices around the county.

Bryan Forbes, Bruce Drive, fills up at Morrisons, Arbroath, and believes that the town has the highest fuel prices in Angus.

He listed prices at local outlets as follows: Morrisons, Arbroath - £1.399; Morrisons, Dundee - £1.339; Asda, Dundee - £1.329; Tesco, Dundee - £1.339; Brechin - £1.339; and Montrose - £1.329.

He believes the situation has been caused by Angus Council refusing petrol station licenses to Asda and Tesco when they were opening new stores, thus stifling competition.

He continued: “Carnoustie has had no fuel outlet for over 10 years and the town’s 3,000 car owners face a 16-mile round trip to fill up at either Arbroath or Barnhill.”

Responding for Morrisons, Laura Stubbs of the company’s media office stated: “I am unsure when the price comparison dates back to. We think the customer may have measured different points in time. We don’t recognise or have a record of these differentials.

“To clarify our pricing policy, no retailer has one price nationally. We all price locally.

“Generally, price differences between towns vary depending on a number of factors including competition amongst suppliers, transportation and logistics costs as well as the overheads associated with the real estate itself.

“Morrisons currently has the cheapest petrol in Arbroath compared with the two other Shell stations that are one mile and 1.7 miles away from the store.”

She concluded: “Unfortunately we don’t keep a complete history of all competitor prices over time. We can reassure you that we purposefully didn’t increase prices during the fuel crisis, nor change our value proposition – our commitment is to being amongst the cheapest locally.

“Any such move would rightly be considered highly disingenuous and hopefully counter productive to anyone who might have tried to take advantage of the situation in this way.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Asda has planning permission for unmanned pumps at their Arbroath store, which was not sought at the time of the original application. Similarly, Tesco did not apply, and has not done subsequently, for a filling station at their Arbroath site. These are commercial decisions on which we are unable to comment.”