The motorist always pays

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Sir,

How is it that with the petrol companies spending millions to provide the touring motorist in Scotland with fuel, some of this money cannot be put aside to ensure him a constant and free supply of air?

I came across about a dozen filling stations on my fortnight’s holiday, who were more than willing to sell petrol to me but could not provide an air pump that was working.

I remember one morning when I stopped at four stations in succession. The first attendant said that the pump was indeed working but “the gauge is a bit funny.” The second and third complained that the parent company had long been told of the defect but as yet nothing or no-one had arrived to right things.

At the fourth I was pleasantly surprised. The pump was working, and the attendant was not too busy to do the job for me. But I was charged, believe me or not, two shillings. And this I was told was a standard charge.

It has been suggested that the tyre manufacturers should be obliged to provide and service air pumps. This seems to me reasonable enough.

But perhaps both sections of this thriving industry know only too well that the motorist is certainly not “sovereign” of this market.

Or can a P.R.O. convince me otherwise?

Michael Nicholson.
London, N.W.8.

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