In response to Fair Fuel UK’s campaign to establish a fuel price regulator “Pumpwatch”, Brian Madderson chairman of the PRA commented to the BBC as follows:
- It is not the first time a “Pumpwatch” supervisory body has been called for by this lobbying organization and the APPG for Fair Fuel. PRA regards it as unnecessary. The proper body to look into unfair pricing of retail fuel would be the Competition and Markets Authority. It has no plans at present to launch a new inquiry as their previous inquiry found no evidence to support anti-competitive pricing allegations,
- The UK forecourt market involves some 8,500 petrol filling stations with different sector ownership ie Oil companies, Supermarkets and Independent Dealers. The latter sector represented by PRA has a 70% share by site numbers
- The Independent Dealers cover a widespread of locations (motorway, truckstop, transient routes, urban, rural etc) with wide ranging volumes from 250K litres per day down to 250K litres per year!!
- Thus their financial targets by fuel margin also vary widely though they all have the common objective of financial sustainability
- No Government body or quango should be in a position to enforce control of fuel margins across such disparate businesses as this would undermine free market principles
- If a motorist does not like the price at any particular filling station, he/she has plenty of other price options – thanks to the free market which should continue without interference
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses.