Petrol station accused of profiteering over £1.48 litre


A SCOTTISH petrol station has been accused of “fleecing” motorists on a busy stretch of road by charging over 40p a litre more than average.


Stracathro service station, on the A90 between Perth and Aberdeen, was yesterday (thu) charging 148.9p for petrol and 152.9p for diesel.


The petrol station, which carries the Gulf branding, has not changed its prices for the past two years despite dramatic recent cuts which have seen a litre sell for around £1.


Stracathro services combines a lorry park and transport cafe with the fuel station, which a spokeswoman said was mainly used by professional drivers whose employers had monthly contracts, known as “bunkering”.


She said: “I would say that 99% of our business is on a bunkering basis.


“The other people who pay the pump price are really those who aren’t bothered at all – businesspeople whose time is more important to them than the price.


“We are not one of the people who follow the market price. It just so happens that the price has dropped right out of the bottom, so our prices are more conspicuous now.


“We have a 24 hour station and members of the public can use it as an emergency fuel stop.
“It’s nice to find a petrol station that’s open at one o’ clock in the morning to sell you £5 of fuel to get to Aberdeen.”


Some parts of Scotland are enjoying prices of less than £1 per litre.


Howard Cox, leader of the Fair Fuel UK campaign, called Stracathro’s prices “blatant profiteering.”


He said: “The wholesale price of petrol is about £1. There is no justification and it is fleecing the motorist.


“This fuel price is the highest I’ve heard of in Scotland, although I have heard of a garage in Northumberland charging 154.9p for unleaded.


“It’s blatant profiteering.”


Customers at the remote Uig service station, 50 miles from the mainland on the Isle of Skye, pay 113.9p for unleaded, which with the island’s 5p fuel subsidy is still 30p less than Stracathro.


One employee of Uig petrol station, who did not wish to be named, said: “You have to be competitive, although the next petrol station is 15 miles away. Our fuel takes approximately a 230 mile round-trip to come from Inverness.”


A spokeswoman for Gulf Retail Fuels said that whilst Stracathro services bought fuel from Gulf, they set their own fuel prices. She added: ” Most of the Gulf sites are dealer contracted sites, so the dealers set the price.”