Contrary to reports, independent fuel retailers have helped to lead fuel prices down recently with several reporting that they had dropped prices below local supermarket competition, according to Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA).

The PRA has reacted to claims in the AA’s November fuel price report that as wholesale prices drop retailers are not passing on these savings to their customers.

Madderson strssed: “While the AA report explored the disparity between petrol wholesale prices and prices at the pump, it did not look at the diesel market which in fact now has a larger share of the retail fuels market.

“Diesel wholesale prices are only down by about 3ppl and pump prices at independent forecourts definitely reflect this.

“The PRA was the only organisation to submit a complaint to the OFT asking for a ‘market study’ into the UK fuel sector. This complaint led to the recent call for information made by the OFT.

“We then provided detailed evidence to the OFT which highlighted potential flaws in price referencing systems as one of the fuel price mechanisms needing proper investigation. We fully believe that businesses, motorists and independent retailers all need much greater price transparency.

“The PRA is aware that the fuel market remains volatile therefore the Government’s plans for hiking fuel duty by 3.02ppl on January 1, 2013 with the prospect of a further 2ppl on April 1, are potentially crippling for both businesses and the consumer.

“It is imperative that the Chancellor cancels duty when he presents the Autumn Statement next month, a stance that the AA and other motoring organisations should fully support.