Ipswich: Cabbies demand cut in fuel prices
IPSWICH: Taxi drivers today demanded an immediate cut in fuel prices after it emerged a reduction in the European market cost of petrol was not being passed on to consumers.
Average petrol prices in the UK have reached an all-time high of 128.81p a litre this week – up 0.54p from mid-January.
In Felixstowe, they have gone even higher at 128.98p, while in Ipswich they currently stand at 127.73p.
For diesel, the average in Felixstowe is 133.90p and 133.21p in Suffolk’s county town, compared to a national cost of 134.01p, according to website petrolprices.com.
News of the lethargic response by fuel companies to dropping prices has angered cash-strapped taxi drivers in Ipswich.
Eric Pearl, a member of the Ipswich Taxi Drivers’ Association, claimed garages were effectively “price- fixing”. He said: “They are just taking advantage of motorists and taking every penny they can get.
“Garages should be more accountable. They are quick to put prices up, but in the last two or three weeks, there doesn’t seem to be any competition between them. I think they are price-fixing.”
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The AA yesterday revealed that if a 2p drop in the market cost of petrol had been passed on to UK consumers, it would have wiped out most of the impact of the 2.5p VAT rise in early January 4.
The motoring group said European petrol prices did go down in line with a dip in north west Europe wholesale costs of petrol.
It added that even with wholesale prices regaining value in February, the European average petrol pump price on February 7 was still three per cent lower than three weeks before, while in the UK, petrol cost 0.8pc more.
AA president Edmund King said: “Whether retailers are trying to compensate for lower volumes of sales or supermarkets are choosing to convert fuel-cost savings into cut-price toilet cleaner offers is irrelevant.
“European fuel retailers, including France with its aggressive supermarket pricing, are under similar strains, yet they passed on much of the wholesale petrol price reduction. They also reduced diesel prices for a while.”
Should garages drop their prices? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk