The boss of Britain’s biggest service station company has called on the Government to slash fuel tax to encourage drivers back on to the roads.
Millions of motorists would benefit, encouraging many who have become used to lockdown to leave home for work, to visit friends and relatives and for holidays.
Moto chief executive Ken McMeikan has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak with a plea to consider an ‘immediate VAT reduction on fuel’
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, McMeikan said Moto has taken the lead this weekend with an 8p cut in petrol prices at five of its sites, slashing the cost of a tank of fuel by more than £4.
He said he hopes to roll out the price cuts across all 58 Moto service stations.
McMeikan said in a letter to Mr Sunak that a VAT cut on fuel would allow him to ‘pass on the benefit directly to millions of motorists’ by lowering fuel prices, helping to ‘ease the financial worries of UK consumers’.
The letter added: ‘A reduction in fuel prices would instantly put more money into people’s pockets at precisely the time they need to be travelling again for work, visiting loved ones and the expected increase in staycations.’
The Government has previously been keen to lower fuel prices for motorway drivers. In 2018, then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling warned that high prices at service stations were ‘exploiting’ motorists, encouraging them to drive with dangerously low tanks to hold out for cheaper fuel.
The majority of Moto’s petrol stations are run as franchises from oil giant BP, meaning Moto sets the pump price.
McMeikan said Moto has taken the lead this weekend with an 8p cut in petrol prices at five of its sites, slashing the cost of a tank of fuel by more than £4
McMeikan said the chain’s initial price cuts, down to 111.9p for unleaded and 117.9p for diesel at sites such as Frankley on the M5 and Lancaster on the M6, put Moto’s fuel prices in line with the average local petrol station and just 5p more than supermarkets.
He added that he wants to promote ‘transparency on fuel pricing’ by advertising petrol prices on electronic signs on the motorway before Moto service stations.
He is close to getting the green light from the Department for Transport and Highways England, which maintains Britain’s motorways, and hopes to have the first sign in place by September.
McMeikan said: ‘My view is, if you’ve got the right price, you should want the consumer on the motorway to see what that price is. Then they can make a judgment to see whether they want to stop and fill up.’