Drivers flex muscle with servo snub

A CHEAP fuel “happy hour” and a convoy of cranky motorists are just two ideas being floated by a new group trying to force down Tamworth fuel prices.

More than 600 locals have signed up to the “Boycott so we can all benefit” Facebook page in less than a week.

The group is calling on drivers to boycott Shell service stations for a fortnight in favour of price-leading independents.

Another major fuel chain will be nominated for boycott after January 7.

The “people power” movement comes as residents fight back against historically high fuel prices, which have sat almost 30 cents higher per litre than Sydney in recent months.

South Tamworth mum Alicia King, who founded the boycott page, said it was time drivers showed oil companies who had the power.

“We now want to take it to the next step by going to an independent and seeing if they’re willing to put on a cheap petrol happy hour,” Ms King said.

“We’re also considering a convoy on a Sunday afternoon out to Manilla just as a show of strength and so we can all meet each other.”

One independent consistently selling fuel cheaper than the majors is Paul Summers, the owner of Summers IGA in Kootingal.

The supermarket’s service station will today drop its unleaded price to 134.9 cents a litre, less four cents with a shopper docket.

“We obviously don’t buy as well as the big boys but there’s no doubt they’re operating on much higher margins,” Mr Summers said.

“We try and maintain a modest margin and that’s why we keep dropping our prices (when crude oil prices drop).

“We’re not about ripping our customers off but the big boys are more answerable to their shareholders than their customers.”

He said his per litre wholesale price had dropped 15 cents in recent weeks as world crude oil prices plummet to their lowest level in five years.

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