Petrol stations hit back at early hike claims

A motorist filling up with fuel at a petrol station
A motorist filling up with fuel at a petrol station
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PETROL station bosses have hit back after motorists said they had failed to pass on the cut in fuel duty.

Drivers contacted The Gazette and claimed some stations raised fuel prices shortly before Wednesday’s budget announcement that duty would be cut by a penny a litre.

Afterwards forecourts then dropped prices by 1p in a move which was claimed as a cynical attempt to counter George Osborne’s announcement.

Taxi driver Charles Walker, 32, from Fleetwood, said: “It’s disgusting. I went past an Esso garage the night before and diesel was £1.37.

“Then on Wednesday morning, it had gone up to £1.38 but they cut it back to £1.37 later in the day.”

But Steve Schofield, manager at the Anchorsholme Esso garage, said the rise was routine.

He added: “Our diesel went up on Monday night, not Tuesday, but it was a routine price rise.

“We were not expecting a cut of 1p in fuel duty on Wednesday. It took us all by surprise.

“Morrisons prices are the same as they were before the budget but it looks like that’s again because of a routine rise.”

One motorist, who did not wish to be named, said he had noticed it was the same story at Morrisons on Squires Gate Lane, South Shore.

He added: “I couldn’t believe it when I noticed as it seems like such a con.”

Morrisons has three stores on the Fylde coast at Cleveleys, Kirkham and Squires Gate Lane.

A company spokesman said: “Any price increases were routine and in no way connected to the budget.

“As soon as we heard the Chancellor’s surprise announcement to reduce duty by 1p, we were the first to pass on the cut to our customers at all of our petrol stations by 5pm.

“That was an hour earlier than the Government’s recommendation.”