Motorway fuel prices ‘exploitative’ says grayling. Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling has called for an investigation into potentially “exploitative” fuel prices at motorway services, expressing concerns that higher prices could even pose a safety risk if motorists avoid filling up.
In his complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Grayling observed that motorway filling stations are charging up to 19p per litre more than regular forecourts. He also pointed to RAC figures from 2011 showing a 7.5p price gap as evidence the “situation had worsened”.
Grayling stated: “I am concerned that prices which are higher than other forecourts may exploit users in a situation where there is less choice and competition, and discourage motorists from stopping and re-fuelling when, for safety reasons, they should.”
Operators Moto, Welcome Break and Road Chef dominate ownership of the 112 motorway services in the UK, and Grayling has invited the CMA to investigate if they are “exercising market power to the detriment of motorists.”
A spokesperson for Roadchef told the BBC: “Roadchef does not operate the petrol station forecourts at any of our service areas and does not set the price of fuel”, while Moto said many of its filling stations were run by fuel companies who set prices to “reflect the complexities of motorway trading, such as round the clock opening.”
RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “We have long called for something to be done about the cost of motorway fuel because there’s nothing to justify the sky-high price. Drivers filling up at motorway services often put in the bare minimum, but this can easily backfire. Running out of fuel on a motorway puts lives at risk.”