THE FIRST major investigation into the 32 billion pound fuel industry in nearly 15 years has been welcomed by Carrick’s MP.
The investigation by the Office of Fair Trading was announced last week, and will examine whether falls in the cost of crude oil are being passed on to drivers at the pumps, and if supermarkets and other petrol retailers are keeping independents out of the market.
The OFT has said it will also look into the claims that prices are higher at forecourts in rural areas than elsewhere.
The investigation comes following a 38 per cent rise in petrol prices, as well as a 43 per cent increase in the cost of diesel, in only the past five years,
In April 2012 petrol reached a record high of 142.5p a litre amidst threatened strike action by tanker drivers, which - combined with Westminster suggestions that motorists should hoard fuel in jerry cans - led to widespread panic-buying.
MP Sandra Osborne for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock said: “This has been a constant worry for many of my constituents and local businesses, especially when people are hard pressed to cope in these difficult times.
“I am delighted that the OFT has at last responded to mounting concerns and launched an investigation. It is long overdue.”