Motorists angry at local fuel prices

MOTORISTS in some parts of Banbridge are paying up to 4p more per litre of petrol than their fellow drivers in other parts of Northern Ireland.

Outraged locals have expressed their frustrations at what they have called a lack of competitive pricing at some forecourts in and around the town.

As of last week drivers were paying 4p more to refuel with petrol and 3p more for diesel - based on a 50 litre fill, this translates to a £2 extra charge every time a motorist fills with petrol and £1.50 more for diesel.

One local man said the different pricing makes no sense and isn’t fair. “I think it’s ridiculous,” he told the Leader. “Why is there such a drastic difference in prices at stations here and those just a few miles away in Portadown?

“If I am ever in Portadown or Craigavon I always take the opportunity to fill my car there because I can make decent savings. I think it’s something that needs looked at and prices need to come down.” The Banbridge man said it costs him around £80 to fill the car’s tank from empty.

When the Leader checked prices last week the best price in Banbridge for petrol was 135.9, compared to 130.8 in Portadown. The highest petrol price was 138.9, 4p more expensive than the highest price in Portadown.

Diesel prices varied by around 3-4pence between the highest and lowest in Banbridge and Portadown.

A number of major supermarket chains in Northern Ireland practise a policy of regional pricing for petrol and diesel, offering different prices depending on which of their locations you choose to fill up at.

The Consumer Council called for this to stop and encouraged customers to check their website for weekly fuel price updates.

A spokeswoman said, “Our figures show that this week (27 October 2011) consumers purchasing petrol and diesel in Tesco in Banbridge are paying 4p more for a litre of petrol and 3p for a litre of diesel compared to the best price Tesco is offering at other locations. This can mean paying £2.00 more to fill your car with petrol and £1.50 more for diesel, based on a 50 litre fill. The Consumer Council calls on all large supermarkets chains to offer their best price for petrol and diesel to all customers regardless of where they are buying their fuel.”

Although the Leader contacted Tesco’s press office no-one was available for comment.