A website to combat “shocking” charges for deliveries to rural and island communities has been launched by the Scottish Government.

A parcel delivery pricing map will be accessible from Sunday, allowing users to enter their postcode and compare charges for deliveries.

The website will compare fees for a range of parcel sizes from six major companies

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It's hoped this will encourage delivery companies to keep their prices in check when providing a service to island and rural communities. 

Business minister Jamie Hepburn said the Scottish Government research had found “shocking stories” of unfair charges.

One such story included a resident of Mull facing a £230 delivery charge for a television.

Meanwhile, someone in Moray was asked to pay an additional £50 for the delivery of a mobility scooter despite the website advertising free delivery.

“We found that people living in the Highlands and Islands face 21% higher postal charges on average compared to South Western Scotland,” said Hepburn.

“If you live in the Outer Hebrides, Shetland or Orkney, you’ll face average surcharges of at least 25% compared to Glasgow and have virtually no access to home delivery.”

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Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “The research carried out by the Citizens Advice network over the last decade has shown that many people who live in remote and rural areas of Scotland feel that they are dealing with unfair delivery practices.

“Higher prices and a lack of transparency on pricing policies are all too common.

“CAS welcomes the website and publications launched today by Scottish Government and hopes that they are useful for consumers.

“Rural communities deserve a fair deal and CAS will continue to work with the Scottish Government to fight for their interests and to seek practical solutions.”

The new website can be found at www.fairdeliveries.scot.