Fuel for thought

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The debate about the price of fuel on Arran is nothing new but it remains as contentious as ever with strong feelings reaching a crescendo when  fuel prices skyrocketed on the island.

On the one hand local suppliers say they are at the mercy of wholesalers, while the wholesalers assert that they do not set prices. Suppliers on Arran also say that for the small mark-up they receive on petrol and diesel it is hardly worth their effort supplying fuel, and were it not for ancillary services offered at garages, they would certainly be unable to run a profitable business.

There is no denying that prices vary greatly between garages on Arran owing to mark-ups, differing suppliers, costs and storage abilities; particularly for those who can purchase bulk supplies when the prices are low and offer this to their customers at favourable rates while others have to adjust theirs to the ever-changing new supply price.

Still, while taking all these factors into account, it is unfortunate that over the last month motorists on Arran have been subjected to some of the highest prices for fuel in Scotland.

What is the solution? Centralised buying, a large fuel depot on Arran that can keep adequate stock to help buffer against the price fluctuations?

While difficult to resolve, it is clear that if we are still having the same discussion after seven years, there is a lack of transparency or clarity somewhere along the chain.

One solution is to shop around and buy your fuel wherever you feel content paying the price, whether on the island or mainland. But whatever you do, there is no reason to take your frustration out on the forecourt workers.