The Office of Fair Trading has dismissed calls for it to investigate why petrol prices in Aylesbury are higher than neighbouring towns.
In May senior members of Aylesbury Vale District Council said they were taking a stand against Tesco’s ‘inflated’ fuel prices – claiming motorists were paying up to 5p a litre more at the pumps because of the supermarket’s monopoly in the town.
At the time campaign group Fair Fuel UK backed the challenge to the UK’s largest retailer, saying it had never heard of ‘a council going for Tesco’ – while doubting it would make ‘a blind bit of difference’.
Giving an update on the campaign, this week the council’s deputy leader Michael Edmonds said: “The OFT carried out a survey and found it was less than 2p difference in petrol and less than a penny in diesel. They didn’t think that warranted an investigation.
“I also have a letter back from BP, who said it was down to the various tenants to set the fuel prices.
“I notice the differences because I go to Thame for mine, as I’m in Chearsley which is only four miles away.”
The cabinet member for economic development pledged to ‘keep the issue under review’.
He warned garages: “I never drive past a petrol station without a look at the prices.
“People do know where the cheapest prices are and they do make an effort and search about.”
Begrove councillor Mark Winn, who started an online petition in May which claimed the high fuel prices were ‘damaging to individuals and businesses’, said: “I would dispute the figures.
“I would still like to gather evidence on the prices for nearby towns.
“I guess it depends on how far you stretch the net.
“In Princes Risborough for example it may only be 2p, but Milton Keynes could be more and in Watford 5p a litre.
“I’m quite surprised by the OFT’s figures and think members of the public will be as well.”
An OFT spokesman cited a report it carried out earlier in the year, which found: “The OFT has decided provisionally, on the basis of the information that it has received, that it does not consider it appropriate to launch a market study into road fuels in the UK at this time.”
A Tesco spokesman said the supermarket did not wish to comment.