Letter: Remote fuel pump prices unfair

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Sir,

Rural communities across Scotland and particularly on the Islands are being forced to pay substantially more for vehicle fuel than urban areas.

This means deep unfairness for households already facing budget pressures.

Residents of the Kintyre and Islands ward rely on their cars to get to and from work as well as visiting family and friends, due to limited public transport links.

Pump prices are being inflated in rural areas, as prices are reduced in cities because of competition.

On top of getting hammered at the petrol pump 35 per cent of those living in rural parts of Scotland are likely to be in fuel poverty, compared to 30 per centin urban areas.

Energy prices tend to be higher and incomes tend to be lower in rural areas.

Many households rely on fuels like heating oil, electricity, LPG and solid fuel. These markets can be limited, restricting consumer choice and increasing costs.

About 31.5 per cent of rural households rely on heating oil. Heating oil prices can be volatile, and collective purchasing clubs, which can reduce costs, are uncommon in many parts of rural Scotland.

High pump prices and disproportionate levels of fuel poverty are yet more examples of how we in rural Scotland are getting a raw deal.

I would implore central governments of all political stripes to rectify this imbalance.

I will continue to give a voice to the often ignored everyday rural residents.

Councillor Alastair Redman,

Kintyre and Islands ward.