BY KEITH MACKENZIE
Fuel prices on Skye are now broadly in line with the national average, but motorists in the Uists continue to pay some of the highest petrol prices in the UK.
In most places the cost at the pumps has fallen in recent weeks, after the price of crude oil dropped to around $80 a barrel. But a survey of fuel prices in the west also suggests that the Government’s 5p island fuel discount — launched in 2012 — is having a positive effect.
According to the website Petrolprices.com the average price for unleaded throughout the UK is 122.82p and for diesel 127.4p.
In Broadford this week a litre of unleaded cost 122.9p and diesel 127.9p — cheaper than in Fort William and not much more than in Inverness. Portree was the same for unleaded and a penny more for diesel, while in Uig the price at the pump was only marginally more expensive.
Prices in Stornoway are now close to what they are in Skye.
However, the Southern Isles continue to have some of the most expensive prices in the UK. The price for a litre of unleaded at the Seaview Filling Station in Benbecula this week was among the highest in the UK, at 141.9p — a full 19 pence more expensive than in Broadford on Skye.
Prices on the rural mainland also give an indication as to why so many want to see the isles discount extended to other parts of the Highlands.
At the start of this year the UK Government submitted an application to the European Commission for 17 of the most rural areas of the UK mainland to receive a discount on their fuel. The postal areas of Strathcarron, Ullapool, Mallaig, Lairg, Oban,
Acharacle, Achnasheen and Gairloch are all earmarked to benefit — though no decision has yet been taken.
This week fuel prices in Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochcarron and Ullapool were all more expensive than in Skye.