Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Fuel prices

I don't own a car, but whenever I pass one of the petrol stations in Stornoway, I do glance at their price board. Fuel prices are now well above £1.40 a litre, and diesel was at £1.50 on January 5th. I'll nip up the road later today to check, but in the meantime, I can report that these ridiculous prices are forcing people to leave the island, or at least relocate closer to their place of work. I heard from at least one person who is in the latter position.

There was a lot of hot air from our esteemed parliamentary representatives, when the idea of a rural fuel derogation was rejected by HM Treasury in London. I think there should be more emphasis on the discrepancies between rural locations. The same tanker that supplies Inverness and Scrabster also calls at Stornoway. So, why is fuel here so much dearer than in Inverness? I think that should be investigated by the council and / or the Scottish Government, and the causes dealt with immediately.

[Entry amended]

13 comments:

  1. we are one hour's drive from the refinery at Fos-Sur-Mer,and diesel is 1euro60cts per litre here and petrol 1euro70 thats roughly about £1.20--£1.40. I have a 40minute drive each way to work and there is no public transport so have no choice. Prices in europe for petrol are dissgustingly high. In ne Zealand I filled up my tank(petrol)and it cost me $50NZ -25euros here it costs me 50euros to fill up with diesel and both tanks on my cars have the same capacity.

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  2. Our parliementary representative is rightly or wrongly blaming the UK gov. but isn't the SNP the party of Scottish independence? So why did they abandon the plans for a referendum and the chance to break free from the Westminster overlords and do their own thing? Decide for yourselves.

    In the meantime there are some eyebrow raising differences in prices in fuel from mainland to island. Can't see the council rushing to investigate as some of their more notable 'members' own filling stations and benefit from council business e.g. the re-fuelling of yellow vans. It will be easier to get to see Tony Blair's letters to George Bush than to obtain any form of transparency with Western Isles fuel prices.

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  3. Just fit a windmill on top your hybrid.
    The faster you go, the more fuel you will save.
    Problem solved??!!

    If that's daft - so is government policy.

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  4. Fuel prices go up, so we cut back on our weekend jaunting, therefore no sudden bursts of unrepentant shopping - how do they expect the economy to recover if we cant afford to go places to spend money?

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  5. Rubaduck---if i could to buy a hybrid car i would but there again the toyota prious is 40%cheaper in NZ than it is here in france

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  6. I filled up with petrol on Stronsay last week and paid £1.47 a litre. I'm waiting for Highland Fuels to deliver 900 litres of heating oil and think I might have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it!

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  7. To say anything other than fuel prices are far too high would be foolish. I do, however, think you have to carry out a cost benefit analysis of fuel price versus quality of life and just how far you can drive on a small island. Realistically, if you drive a diesel car then I would be shocked if you had to fill up more than once every six to eight weeks and the distance Island allowance paid the council will probably more than cover that. I do, however, sympathise with the cost of heating oil which should be cheaper.

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  8. Tormod,
    You raise points which are valid in themselves. However, I cannot help but note that you miss the central point, that there is no justification for prices being higher here than on the mainland.

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  9. I'm sure Lady Gar Gar is aware that a referendum on independence can only be held if it receives approval from the Scottish Parliament. She will also know that the Labour-Tory-Libdem coalition has pledged to vote against holding a referendum, which means that the SNP would certainly lose the vote in Holyrood. The Labour Party is not only opposed to independence, but is also opposed to giving people the democratic right to decide through a referendum. In the meantime, Labour are blaming the SNP Government for the rise in fuel duty which, as even my cat knows, is determined by the London Government.

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  10. I don't want this thread to divert to the subjects of Scottish independence or (worse) party politics which have no direct bearing on the subject matter of this post: the discrepancy between island and mainland fuel prices.

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  11. Tormod, many of us have to drive from one end of the island to the other to get to work which can clock up 60 to 80 miles per day. I have a diesel car and have to fill up every week. Because the road conditions and the topography of the islands you can not drive at constant speeds and are going up and down the gears similar to rally driving. In addition to commuting many of us in rural areas have no local facilities be it shops or recreation, therfore we have use our cars as public transport is sporadic. The 'quality of life' does not compensate for the extraordinary cost of diesel and petrol on the islands which is something we have been witnessing for some time. The general feeling is that we are being ripped off and if we aren't, can someone explain the maths behind the price differences.

    Sorry about starting the 'P' rant Arnish. However can you explain how you get on without a car as this could be the way forward for the rest of us.

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  12. Here in Dubbo, central NSW, Australia, I am paying $A1.20 per litre for standard ulp (91 octane). That I believe equates to £0.75 and €0.90 per litre. For some reason that I do not comprehend, even though I am nearly 300 miles from Sydney, petrol is cheaper than in Sydney where at present it is $A1.35 per litre. (£0.84 / €1.01) Diesal is roughly the same cost. And we feel we are being ripped off. Here we do not blame the Government but we have extremely high suspicions the Petrol Companies are reaping a fortune.

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