Petrol prices: MP for South West Beds calls out retailers for selling petrol and diesel for up to 10p less just 15 miles down the road

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Andrew Selous MP branded it unacceptable profiteering

Petrol retailers have been accused of unacceptable profiteering by South West Beds’ MP – who has raised the issue in the House of Commons today (May 19).

Andrew Selous MP spoke to the Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, to highlight how some supermarkets and petrol retailers are selling petrol and diesel for up to 10p a litre less in nearby towns.

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He said: “Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted are fewer than 15 miles from Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Houghton Regis, and yet petrol has regularly been 10p a litre cheaper in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted than in my constituency, quite often at the same supermarket. The tanker is literally going up the road and charging 10p a litre more to my constituents.

A customer fills his petrol tank at a BP petrol station (Photo by Toby Williams/Getty Images)A customer fills his petrol tank at a BP petrol station (Photo by Toby Williams/Getty Images)
A customer fills his petrol tank at a BP petrol station (Photo by Toby Williams/Getty Images)

"The Competition and Markets Authority is independent – I understand that – but it should be accountable to this House. It is simply not acceptable to have that level of profiteering from my constituents, who are struggling with their bills at the moment. What are the Government going to do about that?”

Penny Mordaunt acknowledged the issue – and agreed that it was important to many people as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

And she said the Competition and Markets Authority had suggested that “something additional is going on, over and above the lag between wholesale purchase and the price at the pump”.

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She added: “The message from all Members to the CMA should be that it pulls its finger out and gets to the bottom of this so that we ensure our constituents and businesses are dealt with fairly. Such a huge additional cost is not helping the cost of living. Fuel at the pump is a vital commodity, and people should not be paying more for it than they have to.”

Speaking afterwards, Andrew Selous said “At a time of massive pressure on household budgets, it is simply not acceptable that some of our big supermarkets and petrol retailers think they can get away with charging so much more in south Bedfordshire than they do in neighbouring Hertfordshire. I want the Competition and Markets Authority to take this issue really seriously, which I do not think they have done to date and I have asked the government to put pressure on them to do so.”

According to price tracking website today, the cheapest price for petrol in Leighton Buzzard was 142.9p at BP and Morrisons. At Sainsbury’s and Tesco in Dunstable the price was 145.9p. However, in Hemel Hempstead, the lowest price was 137.7p at Asda, while the price at the pump was 137.9p at Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Meanwhile, diesel was 154.9p at BP in Leighton Buzzard, 148.9p at Tesco in Dunstable and 152.9p at the town’s Sainsbury’s. But at Tesco in Hemel Hempstead, it was 10p a litre less, at 138.9p.