Motorists and business leaders have hit out at the hike in fuel prices in East Kilbride.
One St Leonards driver last week was astonished to find a 5p mark-up for diesel in a Calderwood petrol station compared to nearby Coatbridge.
Although fuel prices vary from location to location, angry Paul Kinnear told the News motorists in East Kilbride are fed up paying considerably more for fuel compared to towns a few miles down the road elsewhere in Lanarkshire.
He said: “It’s something that has always been an issue but a recent hunt for fuel was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I fuelled my van up at a station in Coatbridge, noticing the price of diesel had risen again up to 140.9p. That evening, when I went to fill my car up in Calderwood, again with diesel, I noticed the price was a staggering 145.9.
“Refusing to pay this I moved on to the St Leonards petrol station where the price was 144.9.
“I have always known that East Kilbride has been dearer for fuel but a 5p hike per litre just seems ridiculous.
“If I have to purchase fuel in East Kilbride I find supermarket petrol stations are slightly more reasonably priced but still dearer.
“Why are the people of East Kilbride forced to pay such high prices compared to the rest of Lanarkshire? Do we have more money? Is East Kilbride protected by a giant recession bubble?
“In a time when most families are on their knees financially it angers me to see such ridiculous pricing and I seriously doubt that there is any reasonable justification behind it apart from sheer greed.
“I doubt garages charge a higher wholesale price to East Kilbride than they do elsewhere in Lanarkshire.
“It’s just appalling that we are being ripped off so blatantly.
“It’s also crazy that a 10 minute drive to a neighbouring town sees such a significant decrease in price.”
Business leaders are also puzzled by dearer fuel prices in East Kilbride and say it could damage business in the town.
Maurice Logie, president of Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I can think of no good reason why petrol prices in East Kilbride are more expensive than other parts of Lanarkshire.
“Indeed, it could be argued that other areas of both South and North Lanarkshire are far harder to access and supply fuel to.
“There is no doubt that fuel costs are a major issue for any business these days and this disparity needs to be addressed.
“We would encourage local businesses to lobby their political representatives and ensure action to rectify the situation is taken.”
A spokesman for BP, who have a number of petrol stations in East Kilbride, said: “We only set the prices at petrol stations owned and operated by BP. The rest are owned and operated by independent dealers, who set their own prices.
“BP’s pricing policy is based on maintaining value for money for consumers within each local trading area, reflecting the location of the site, its facilities and the competition. This means the prices can vary from site-to-site, no matter how close or far away they are.
“Prices at BP’s company-owned sites are based on local market conditions taking into account such things as the cost of getting the fuel to the particular site, the price of crude oil as well as the actual cost of producing the fuel.
“We monitor prices on a site-by-site daily basis and we always try to maintain value for money for our customers as much as possible.
“BP’s brand focus not just on price like many fuel retailers; we differentiate versus our competitors with our convenience and other offers.
“This enables BP to offer a wider offer than just price to our customers.
“Duty on fuel is something which is set by the Government. After road fuel duty and VAT, which make up almost 70per cent of the pole sign price, plus transportation costs, and overheads, margins on fuel in the UK remain very tight.”
A spokesman for supermarket giant Morrisons said: “Fuel prices can vary slightly across the UK due to a variety of factors, which include competition amongst suppliers, transportation and logistics costs as well as the overheads associated with the real estate itself.
“Morrisons is committed to providing customers with fuel at prices that are among the lowest in each market.”