LOCAL MP John Lamont is demanding petrol prices are reduced in the Borders.

The politician has hit out after research showed that local filling stations are charging up to 20 per cent more than pumps in neighbouring regions.

A recent survey found the cheapest price for petrol in the Borders was 116.7p per litre.

And the most expensive was 124.9p.

But in nearby Midlothian petrol can be bought for just 105.9p per litre.

Even in other rural areas filling up is cheaper than the Borders.

An independent petrol station in Oban currently charges 118.9p per litre and in Fort William, the cost is 116.9p per litre at Morrisons.

The discrepancy has led to calls by Mr Lamont for national petrol stations to end their fuel price rip off.

Mr Lamont said: “By charging nearly 20 percent more than petrol stations just up the road, motorists in the Borders are clearly being taken for a ride.

"There is no excuse for this. Distribution does not make up a significant fraction of the cost of petrol and other factors, like taxation and the price of crude oil are of course the same across the UK."

The recent survey found that prices even vary significantly between the same retailer.

Sainsbury's in Kelso is currently charging 122.9p per litre of petrol, whereas only 40 miles away in Straiton near Edinburgh, petrol costs 105.9p per litre.

Jet in Duns is currently charging 124.9p per litre, while Jet in Earlston petrol costs 121.9p per litre - just a few miles up the road, in Tranent, petrol is selling for 117.9p per litre.

Mr Lamont added: “The Borders is hardly a remote region being only 30 or 40 miles away from the central belt, yet many Borderers are paying more for their petrol than motorists in the Highlands.

"Big retailers like Sainsbury’s manage to sell potatoes for the same price in Kelso as they do in the central belt, so why are customers being charged nearly 20 per cent more for their petrol?

“I’ve written to all fuel providers in the Borders about this, urging them to end this rip off.”