Rises in pump prices for petrol and diesel over the last 10 years have been caused largely by higher crude oil prices and not a lack in competition, a report from the Office of Fair Trading has claimed.
The news could come as a disappointment to campaigners fighting for a fairer deal on fuel prices, who have questioned the business practices of Scottish Fuels, one of the main suppliers for the isles.
However the report appears to leave the door open for further action should evidence emerge of anti-competitive business practices.
It also points to increases in tax duty imposed against fuel as another reason for the price hikes.
A statement released by the OFT today read: “The evidence gathered by the OFT suggests that at national level competition is working well in the UK road fuel sector, although it has identified an absence of pricing information on motorways as a concern and does not rule out taking action in some local markets if there is persuasive evidence of anti-competitive behaviour.”
For full story, see this week’s paper.