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Willie Rennie: Scottish Government should help create fuel price checker

Fuel prices have hit £2 per litre in some parts of Scotland (Joe Giddens/PA)
Fuel prices have hit £2 per litre in some parts of Scotland (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Scottish Government has been urged to back the creation of a fuel comparison site amid soaring costs.

Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats economy spokesperson, has written to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to call for the scheme which would help motorists keep costs down.

It would follow the lead of Northern Ireland, where a publicly-funded, online tracking service allows motorists to check where the cheapest fuel in their area is.

It has forced Northern Irish pump owners to keep their prices competitive.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021
Willie Rennie has called for an independent fuel price checker (Jane Barlow/PA)

In Scotland, however, the price for a litre of petrol and diesel has risen beyond £2 in some parts of the country.

Mr Rennie’s call came as protesters target key Scottish roads as part of a UK-wide demonstration over rising fuel prices.

Two tractors caused long tailbacks on the A92 towards Aberdeen on Monday, while further protests occurred at the Kessock Bridge in Inverness.

Police officers also say they cautioned two motorists on the M8 near Newbridge, Edinburgh, on Monday morning for trying to enforce a “go slow” zone.

It is understood further protests could happen if fuel prices continue to rise.

In his letter, Mr Rennie wrote: “Fuel prices are continuing to rise and we must take action now to help Scottish motorists facing increasing costs.

“The Northern Ireland price check, which is run by the Consumer Council, is an excellent model that helps to tackle rising petrol prices.

“This model has contributed to motorists in Northern Ireland paying 35p less (per litre) than Scottish motorists in June.

“The checker is publicly funded and works by letting motorists know exactly how much they should be paying for fuel.

“This allows consumers to avoid more expensive suppliers.

“The checker helps consumers find the best deals for fuel and it drives down prices.

“It must be independent of the Government, but the Scottish Government should help to get it established quickly.”

“Will you commit to introducing a similar price checker scheme for motorists in Scotland?” he asked.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it expected petrol stations “to charge all consumers a fair price and advertise these in a transparent and easily understood way”.

“Tools to help consumers find the cheapest fuel prices in their area are already readily available online,” the spokesman said.

“A number of these provide additional data such as individual forecourt prices, which is the most important information to help consumers secure the lowest price in the area.

“We continue to do all we can to ensure people, communities and businesses are given as much support as possible to deal with the rising cost of living, despite many of the powers required to tackle these issues being reserved to the UK Government.”

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