RMI Petrol’s chairman Brian Madderson has branded the government’s announcement on a rural fuel duty rebate pilot a "complete cop out and a complete sham".


The government announced its intention to introduce a pilot scheme that will deliver a maximum of 5ppl duty discount on petrol and diesel in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, and the Isles of Scilly, to help rural retailers compete with forecourts in nearby towns.


But chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP told Radio 4’s You and Yours programme on October 27, that it would take around 18 months to get approval from the EU before it could go ahead with the pilot. He also said that the government had no plans to roll out the scheme at this stage because if it’s given the green light, it could take years to evaluate its impact on rural communities.


RMI’s Madderson told Forecourt Trader: "It’s a complete sham and is allowing the Coalition to wriggle out of the situation. For meaningful assistance to rural motorists the pilot needed to be wider scale in mainland rural areas, more robust and more immediate. The Isles of Scilly, for example, only has 100 vehicles and one filling station. It’s a complete cop out."