The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has criticised the media for being obsessed with the price of fuel, and said that it is doing all it can to defend independent retailers.

PRA director Ray Holloway rejected comments that the organisation was not doing enough to be a voice for independents on this issue. He added: "I don’t think it’s possible for the PRA to do any more. This has been covered ad nauseum in the media, and we always come from the viewpoint of the retailer.

"It’s the media that is obsessed with price. I don’t think petrol retailers should be so obsessed with it - for many motorists price just isn’t an issue."

Holloways said the PRA had been conducting a survey in forecourts, and that "a high percentage of drivers questioned, who actually had the nozzle in the vehicle at the time of being asked, didn’t know what price they were paying for their fuel".

Regarding the next few months, Holloway expected prices to go up as we head towards Christmas. He explained: "It’s due to demand, simple demand. Whether we’re all feeling miserable or not, we’ve all got Christmas coming up, which means visiting family or going Christmas shopping. And goods need to be delivered to the shops. If you have that demand the price will go up." He added that he expected prices to fall again in January as demand tailed off.