Leighton’s MP is urging motorists to keep the pressure on the supermarkets over “unfair” fuel prices in the town.
In response to continuing concerns from Leighton Buzzard and Linslade residents, Andrew Selous, MP for South West Beds, met with Tesco and Morrisons representatives in his office in the House of Commons this week.
He also raised the issue issue with the leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley MP, at business questions. It follows the LBO’s front page story on October 29 over local anger at fuel pricing.
Mr Selous relayed to the supermarket representatives the unrest about the fact that petrol and diesel prices in Leighton Buzzard are regularly higher than in Milton Keynes, Dunstable, Houghton Regis and many surrounding villages.
He said: “I think it is fair to say that both the representative of Tesco and of Morrisons did not appear as if they were going to take any immediate action following the raising of my concerns.
“I suspect they are waiting to see if the local concern blows over or is sustained.
“That is where I think the LBO comes in on playing its part in representing local people’s views.”
He added: “When I drove through Dunstable to Leighton Buzzard on Saturday morning I saw diesel at 134p a litre in the Esso garage in High Street North, Dunstable and arrived in Leighton Buzzard to see it selling at 140p a litre at the Shell station on the south of the town. Tesco was also selling it at 138p a litre. Later that day I saw diesel selling for 133p a litre in Houghton Regis some 7p a litre less than the Shell garage in Leighton Buzzard.”
At the time of our front page story, a spokesman for Morrisons said: “Fuel prices vary from area to area. One of the reasons for that is because costs will vary in different areas in terms of property. The other reason is that Morrisons’ fuel prices remain competitive with other companies.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our clear goal for customers is to be competitive on petrol and diesel in local catchment areas for each store, so Tesco does not operate with one national price. This is the case with all other petrol retailers in the UK.”
> Tell us your views on the petrol pricing in Leighton Buzzard. Email email@example.com.
> For more on this story and the Commons debate with Mr Lansley see our December 10 issue of the LBO.