Gasoline prices: outcry over the most expensive diesel pump


Hard-pressed motorists in the Highlands undoubtedly heaved a little sigh of relief when Chancellor Rishi Sunak used this week’s budget statement to announce that fuel taxes would be frozen.

But the move seems unlikely to lower prices for a distant gasoline pump, where diesel sells for 184.9 pence per liter – considered the most expensive in mainland Britain.

The Cluanie Inn – on the A887, which is the main road from Skye to Inverness – also advertises unleaded petrol at 165p per liter.

Meanwhile, just 50 miles away, in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, gasoline sells to Tesco at around 134p.

Nationally, average forecourt prices were last at current levels in September 2012 – and are only 2.5 pa per liter from the all-time high in April of that year, when the cost of oil has skyrocketed.

However, at the Cluanie Inn, the charges have already passed that peak, prompting drivers to voice their anger and astonishment on social media.

“Gold flakes in this fuel,” wrote one. “At least Dick Turpin was wearing a mask,” said another, while a third added, “At this price they don’t need to be open all day! Few of the cars in it are they who have made a profit … what the fuck is it ?! Diesel Fabergé? A fellow motorist said: “I would push my car to the next garage. Another joked, “Can fill the truck over there tomorrow.” ”

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The bosses of The Cluanie said the fuel prices were based on its remote location, the cost of transporting gasoline and diesel to the site, and its reliance on a diesel generator to power them. pumps and point of sale machine.

“We don’t make any profit from fuel sales,” said Vanessa Crasto, vice president of parent group Black Sheep Hotels. “It’s more of a service that we provide. There is no other fuel pump for many miles and we keep ours open 24/7 as a service. The Cluanie hostel has no electricity (mains). It relies on the diesel generator.

The cost dispute comes as rapidly rising wholesale oil prices exacerbate supply chain problems plaguing the forecourt. After queues for fuel and shortages seen in recent weeks, gasoline is, once again, widely available – but costs on average 5 pence per liter more than in September. According to recent AA figures, the average price of unleaded gasoline is 140.22 per liter, with diesel at 143.42 per cent.

The Cluanie was famous among the properties purchased by an Indian businessman two years ago after feeling so disappointed with the Highland hospitality that he decided to buy the offending hotels to “show them how to do it.” “.

The Mumbai millionaire has taken an extraordinary step after paying up to £ 120 a night for dirty rooms, no hot water and microwave meals served by a carpenter. Sanjay Narang, then 56, had come to Inverness-shire in late April 2018 for a hiking holiday with his sister Rachna.

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By the first week of May he had decided to buy three hotels – Letterfinlay Lodge in Spean Bridge, The Cluanie Inn in Glenmoriston and Craigard Guest House in Invergarry – at a total cost of almost £ 3million. He planned to spend an additional £ 6million to renovate, rename and expand them.

Mr. Narang then said, “It was -7 ° C one day and there was no hot water in the hotel where we were staying. I called downstairs and the manager said “The boiler hasn’t been working since last Thursday and the guy can’t come and fix it until next week”, and hung up the phone. They charged us £ 120 a night and there was no hot water, no apologies, nothing.

He was also not a fan of the food on offer. In his new home on the shores of Loch Garry, he said: “It was universally atrocious and the concept of service didn’t exist. “It was the same menu everywhere and the soup of the day was always lentils. In one of the hotels, the chef admitted that he had come there as a carpenter, but was asked to do some of the cooking. The hotel had six microwaves and a single hob in the kitchen.

Miss Narang, who is in charge of the interior design, said at the time: “We don’t want to be cliché and have Braveheart and the Loch Ness Monster. We want to celebrate the great Scots and we will have photos of Alexander Graham Bell, Carnegie and others in our halls. There is so much more to Scotland than Hollywood and Outlander have shown. ”

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In India, the couple founded the Mars Hospitality Group, acquiring restaurants, bars and hotels in Mumbai before selling them.

Mr. Narang said, “People think we are crazy. They say, “You’re crazy, why are you spending so much money in the Highlands? “We just want to create something new and showcase the natural beauty of this place by providing comfort and hospitality.”

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