Transport secretary Justine Greening has been urged to talk to industry representatives before issuing a proposal for a voluntary code of conduct as threatened via press interviews last month.

In a strongly worded letter sent today, RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson complained that despite having made immediate contact with the Department for Transport office as soon as the press comments were aired, no meeting had yet been offered.

“Following your statement to the press on Wednesday, May 30, my office immediately contacted your private office by telephone and email seeking an urgent meeting.

“In your press statement you suggested that retailers were failing to pass on the full extent of reducing wholesale prices at their pumps. These comments appeared to rely exclusively on a press release from the AA which made pricing allegations that were seemingly unfounded.”

Madderson said the effect of the statements in the press about taking steps to introduce a voluntary code of conduct – which would urge retailers to promise to pass on wholesale price reductions within a fortnight – the media and the motorist now believe petrol retailers are “ripping off their customers at the pump”.

Madderson stressed that before issuing any proposal for a voluntary code of conduct, the Transport Secretary should talk to industry representatives to “discuss the wholesale and retail pricing mechanisms together with an outline of UK market dynamics”.