Tuesday, 21 September 2010 12:53

Motorists hit by fuel duty hike

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Petrol prices have risen 9p/litre in a year Petrol prices have risen 9p/litre in a year

RURAL motorists are set to bear the brunt of a 1p-a-litre rise in fuel duty.

The tax increase is due to come into effect on Friday (1 October).

Despite struggling to cope with the rising cost of fuel, a lack of public transport mean many rural residents have no choice but to continue driving.

Petrol and diesel prices have fallen for the fourth month in a row, but an increase in wholesale prices threatens to put that in reverse.

Petrol prices were already nearly 9p a litre – or £4.50 a tank – higher than a year ago, warned the AA.

At 116.2ppl, prices for unleaded petrol are highest in London.

But people unable to run a car in in the capital can take advantage of travelling by bus, tube and train.

The UK has the twelfth highest unleaded price in Europe and the second highest diesel price.

Rural businesses and communities continue to be hit by high motoring costs – 10 years after fuel price protests brought Britain to a standstill.

Prices have risen by 50% since protestors blocked roads across the country during September 2000.

The protests began when farmers and hauliers blockaded the Stanlow oil refinery near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

Some 3,000 petrol stations were forced as forecourt supplies were halted at an estimated £1bn cost to UK business.

Protesters called off the blockades eight days later.

The government subsequently pledged to freeze fuel duties, promising changes to the way goods vehicles were taxed.

AA spokesman Paul Watters said it was clear many drivers had had enough of higher prices.

But it was difficult to forecast whether prices would go up or down, he added.

This was due to market volatility caused by speculators betting on changing economic indicators, said Mr Watters.

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