A new long-term fuel promotion about to be launched by Tesco "smacks of desperation", according to PRA chairman Brian Madderson and he warned it could have an impact on independent retailers.

Savings of up to 20ppl on Tesco fuel will be available to Clubcard users under a scheme which the retail giant is about to launch nationally.

Fuel Save has already been trialled in Wales and a Tesco spokeswoman said it would be rolled out nationally. Although she could not reveal the date it would start, she said it was "imminent". Neither could she say how long it would run but the Welsh scheme is scheduled to run until at least July 31.

It offers customers 2ppl off a single fuel transaction for each £50 spent in store. Savings can be redeemed straight away or accumulated with subsequent transactions over a calendar month, with a cap on the discount of 20ppl.

Madderson said: "This smacks of desperation by Tesco to turn around the declining sales in its stores."

He pointed out that the mechanic, 2ppl for each £50 spent, was less than many of the other supermarket promotions.

He added: "It appears to be less for longer. It is likely to have some sort of impact on independent retailers, but it is difficult to predict so we will have to wait and see."