Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 15:03 UK

Call for fair trading fuels probe

Diesel pump
Fuel costs continue to rise in the Highlands and Islands

An isles MP has called for an investigation into the pricing structure for petrol and diesel in the Highlands and Islands.

Angus MacNeil said the price for fuel delivered to the north by sea on tankers was different - and often more expensive - than deliveries by road.

The SNP MP for the Western Isles said this was unfair and asked the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate.

The OFT said it was considering his complaint and those from other MPs.

Mr MacNeil said: "From what I understand is the fuel that is distributed by sea from Grangemouth is under this average monthly price, whereas that which is moved on the mainland seems to be on a two-day lag and based on the prices in Rotterdam where oil is traded."

Panic buying

Other Highlands MPs, including the Liberal Democrats' Danny Alexander and John Thurso, have been expressing concern at the price of fuel.

Following a meeting, the Treasury has agreed to look at how other European countries help lower costs for remote communities.

In the Highlands and Islands, prices continued to rise following a strike by workers at the Grangemouth refinery in central Scotland in April, which saw increases on the cost of a litre of petrol and diesel and led to panic buying.

The average price for unleaded petrol in the UK is 116.4p and 129.8p for diesel, according to the latest figures on the website

Figures gathered by the site gave the average costs for the fuels as 118.7p and 130.9p in Inverness; 122.9p and 139.9 in Stornoway on the Western Isles; 117p and 131p in Fort William; 117.6p and 132.9p in Wick: 127.9p and 141.9p in Lerwick, Shetland, and 125.5p and 138.9p in Kirkwall, Orkney.

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