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Petrolbusters.com's Roger Greenhalgh
"It's a sign of solidarity."
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Melanie Doel
"In Wales, buying petrol remains a lottery."
 real 28k

Richard Everett, petrol station manager, Usk
"People are aware of the campaign but they need to fill up with fuel"
 real 28k

Norman Watkins, Hay and Brecon Farmers Cooperative
"We have been able to absorb rising costs, but we may have to pass them on to customers"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
'Dump the pump' protest lukewarm
petrol pump filling car
Motorists are urged not to visit stations on 1 August
A campaign to "Dump the Pump" in protest at high petrol prices in Wales got off to a slow start on Tuesday.

There were reports in north Wales of filling stations being deserted for part of the day of action.

Drivers who filled up at Llandudno's ASDA supermarket got a gift of two boiled sweets, but the normally busy petrol station was quieter than usual.

But in other parts of Wales, filling stations were reporting business as usual.

In Usk, south-east Wales, petrol station manager Richard Everett said business was down by only 5%.

"People have commented that they are aware of the Dump the Pump campaign but they need to fill up with fuel," he said.

The protests coincides with a petrol forecourt price war in Wales, with some drivers finding savings of almost 18 pence on a litre of fuel.

Roger Greenhalgh
Petrolbusters.com's Roger Greenhalgh

Hay and Brecon Farmers Cooperative said it had seen its fuel bill rise by 17,000 during the last three years, an increase of 28%.

"We have been able to absorb the costs, but we may have to pass them on now to the customer," said Norman Watkins, company spokesman.

A company in mid Wales has hit back at the increases by offering motorists an internet service to find the cheapest petrol near their home.

For 16 months, petrol prices have risen sharply by an average of one pence a litre each month.

But following mounting pressure, several oil companies and supermarkets have cut their prices in the past few days.

In Wales, the cost of buying petrol from area to area remains very different.

In Cardiff, many garages are selling unleaded petrol for under 80 pence a litre.

Petrol prices in Porth
Prices in Porth are among UK's highest

But a few miles away at one garage in Porth in the Rhondda motorists are expected to pay almost 18 pence more - one of the highest prices in Britain.

Petrolbusters.com has launched a new internet service near Newtown, in mid Wales, helping motorists find the cheapest petrol.

"It's a sign of solidarity," said Roger Greeenhalgh of Petrolbuster.com. "Essentially, it's a method of registering one's discontent with paying the crazy prices that we are doing.

On Sunday, 25,000 people checked out the website, which the company claims is an indication of just how strongly motorists feel about high petrol prices.

Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams said the brakes should be put on increases in petrol prices, which she says are inflicting financial hardship in rural areas.

The Liberal Democrat AM is calling for a five-year freeze in petrol tax rises.

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See also:

28 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Blair under fire over petrol rises
12 Jan 00 | Business
Call for petrol price probe
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