MPs and taxi firm bosses are now calling for more to be done to tackle the ‘rip-off’ pricing at motorway fuel monopolies across the Black Country and Staffordshire.
Research by the Express & Star today highlights a huge gulf between petrol and diesel prices on Midland motorways – of up to 27p per litre in some areas.
It comes as Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is urging competition regulators to investigate the UK’s three biggest service station operators.
And Dudley South MP Mike Wood has backed that call – saying more needs to be done to prevent drivers being ‘exploited’.
He said: “These service stations are clearly abusing a monopoly – you just need to compare fuel prices at services on a motorway compared to somewhere cheaper like Asda next to Junction 2 of the M5.
“I can’t see how they can justify getting people to pay 20p more per litre.
“We need to be looking at the places that continue to exploit this monopoly to make sure drivers aren’t taken advantage of.”
The difference in prices can see families paying out more than £14 extra for filling up an average 55-litre car.
At the BP filling station at Hilton Park services on the M6, drivers face prices of 139.9p per litre for unleaded and 141.9 for diesel.
However, petrol stations at Asda in Cannock and Morrisons in Willenhall – both under four miles away – are charging just 112.7p for unleaded and 113.7p and 114.7p for diesel respectively.
Similarly the BP garage at Frankley Services on the M5 has fuel priced up at 139.9p for petrol and 141.9 for diesel.
But 4.6 miles away at the Asda station in Oldbury – just off Junction 2 of the same motorway – petrol is 114.7p per litre and diesel 116.7p.
The Norton Canes service station on the M6 Toll charges 138.9p per litre for petrol and 139.9p for diesel.
But 2.8 miles away at Asda in Cannock petrol is 112.7p and diesel 114.7p.
Price discrepancies have been dubbed a ‘rip-off’ by a Black Country taxi boss.
Shaz Saleem, chairman of Dudley Private Hire and Taxi Association, said: “I think it’s disgraceful, it’s not fair on motorists as there is no other choice for fuel on the motorways.
“People are being forced to pay more money at the motorway stations – it is clearly a rip-off. It needs to be looked at and monitored more closely so people aren’t forced to pay out extra.
“If people are paying an additional amount then it is basically money for nothing.”
National figures show drivers pay on average nearly 18p more per litre for petrol and nearly 17p for diesel on the motorway compared to other petrol stations.
Luke Bosdet of the AA said he recognised motorway fuel was more expensive because of extra costs but a near 20p difference was ‘ridiculous and a clear rip-off’.