RESIDENTS are outraged that fuel prices in Devizes are still the highest in the county even though the cost of crude oil has dropped significantly.

In Devizes it costs 110.9p for a litre of unleaded, despite it costing up to 5p less in neighbouring towns such as Chippenham.

The two Esso garages in Chippenham are run by Rontec, the same independent company as the Roundway and Devizes Esso Service Stations, and it decides the fuel prices for its sites.

At the time of going to press, according to you could get a litre of unleaded for 105.9p at the Esso in Bath Road, Chippenham, 106.9p at Tesco in Trowbridge and 108.9p at Bridge Garage in Marlborough, none of which are more than 15 miles from Devizes.

Town councillor Nigel Carter said: “It’s scandalous. If a garage in Birmingham can sell for 99.9p why can’t Devizes lower its prices?

“Everywhere else is cheaper than Devizes – even small independent garages in the villages.

“The virtual monopoly operated by Esso is unhealthy for all but the licensees operating the sites.”

A litre of unleaded is 109.9p at both Tilshead Garage and Pewsey Spar.

Nigel Holman, of Corn Croft Lane, Devizes, wrote to Esso but didn’t get a reply.

The 67-year-old retired HSBC manager said: “I can only think that they have no answer other than to tell us what we already know: they are overcharging as they have a monopoly on prices.”

Devizes Mayor Sarah Bridewell said: “It is ridiculous. I know lots of people refuse to fill up here.”

The other two stations in Devizes, Curry’s Motors and Cannings Hill Garage, have their fuel supplied and prices set by Motor Fuel Group (MFG).

Nick Hale, owner of Curry’s Motors, in Bath Road, said: “What people don’t know is that we have to buy fuel in bulk and if prices drop we have to use up the supply first. Sometimes MFG helps but mostly it doesn’t.”

Interestingly a litre of unleaded can be brought in the Maida Vale Express in London, which is only 1.5 miles away from Kensington Palace Gardens one of the most expensive streets in the country, for 109.9p.

Rontec had failed to respond to our request for a comment at the time of going to press.