Pumpwatch ensures fair play on fuel

MOTORISTS can be confident they are getting full measure when they fill up their vehicle with fuel following the launch of a council campaign.

Durham County Council's trading standards team has launched its Pumpwatch scheme after saying they receive many complaints from members of the public who think they have received a short measure.

The scheme promotes fairness on the petrol forecourt and stickers are placed on every fuel pump which has been checked for accuracy.

The stickers will show the last time the pump was checked and contain contact details if people wish to complain about a possible short measure.

The majority of complaints are from people buying small amounts of fuel, who after the delivery, see very little or no movement in their fuel gauges.

Alternatively they have filled up their tank with more fuel than they thought their tank could hold.

When the complaint is followed up the pumps are invariably correct and the fluctuation in readings can usually be put down to changing prices, a sloping forecourt or gauge error.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council's head of environment, health and consumer protection said: "This scheme will benefit both fuel retailers and consumers by reducing causes for concern over short measures and raising awareness and confidence amongst everyone that the pumps are regularly checked.

"I am delighted that 33 of the 62 independent petrol sites have already signed up and really hope many more will follow."