Cllr Michael Long said: “For months it has been evident that people in East Belfast are getting a poor deal on petrol prices compared with surrounding areas such as Newtownards and Bangor where the price of a litre of petrol can be 5 or 6 pence a litre cheaper. Last night I undertook a price check of petrol stations and found further evidence of this price differential.
“In Newtownards, the lowest petrol, price was 131.7 pence per litre but the lowest price I could find in East Belfast was 133.9. Of even greater interest was the price differential between the cost of petrol at the same supermarkets in the two locations. At Tesco, the price was 131.9 in Newtownards whilst the same retailer was selling petrol at 135.9 at their store at Knocknagoney.
“It is quite clear from these figures that many people in East Belfast will be feeling ripped off by local stations. The figures mean that people are paying £2 or £3 extra to fill up each time which will make a big impact on many people who are already struggling to survive in the current difficult economic conditions. My message to retailers would be that ‘every little helps’.
“I would hope that by highlighting these figures, it would encourage people to shop around for the best deal, but I also think that some of the large supermarket retailers need to look again at their pricing policies. How can they justify charging people in East Belfast 4 pence a litre more for the exactly the same product? It is time that they followed the example of Asda and operated national pricing policies rather than local ones so that people across the country are all getting the best deal for their petrol.”