Petrol prices close to �1 a litre

MOTORISTS in Norfolk are on the verge of paying �1 a litre for unleaded petrol once again after months of lower prices at the forecourts. The soaring cost of oil has been blamed for the rise in the average UK petrol price, which has risen to 97.

MOTORISTS in Norfolk are on the verge of paying �1 a litre for unleaded petrol once again after months of lower prices at the forecourts.

The soaring cost of oil has been blamed for the rise in the average UK petrol price, which has risen to 97.68p - with �1 being charged at motorway services and at rural filling stations across the country.

According to a price comparison website, the most expensive unleaded on Norfolk forecourts was 99.9p last night, a price which has been spotted at filling stations on the A11 and in north Norfolk, while the costliest diesel in the county is on sale in the Yarmouth area, at 107.9p.

Average prices in recent months had dipped below 90p, having reached as high as 120p last year.


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But oil reached $60 a barrel for the first time in six months this week, after increasing in price by 85pc

from a five-year low of $32 in February.

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Meanwhile, the cost to the motorist increased by 2.67p a litre between mid-April and mid-May and last week rose by a further 1.3p a litre - compounded by the 2p increase on fuel duty in last month's budget.

Motoring groups believe drivers are bearing the brunt of “unfair tax hikes” during a recession.

The AA said the average cost of diesel had gone up by less than 1p - from 102.69p a litre in mid-April to 103.49p in mid-May. However, 108.9p was not uncommon at motorway service areas.

Alexander Wells of the Petrol Retailers Association said that many retailers make less than 1p per litre profit from selling fuel, and were sustained by the sale of items in their shop.

The cost to the consumer and the retailer had both risen by about 11pc since January.

AA president Edmund King said: “Everybody is trying to pump up their profits at the expense of the motorist: market speculators want to rejuvenate their funds through dearer oil, the fuel industry has squeezed petrol refining to improve margins, the government is increasing fuel duty to prop up its deficit, local authorities have increased parking charges to

fill town hall coffers, and the list goes on.

“This assertion that motorists are somehow better off because petrol prices are not as expensive as they were last summer, overlooks the fact that money and credit is now tight, people are losing jobs and having their pay frozen.

“If recovery from recession is to

be consumer-led, the last thing we need is excessive pricing at the pumps.”

The RAC's motoring strategist, Adrian Tink, said: “We expect that �1 a litre will become the norm for everyone by the start of June - just

in time for the start of summer driving.

“Looking ahead, there's going to be more misery for motorists with the 2p tax rise in September. We urge the chancellor to scrap this unfair tax hike and give some relief to cash-strapped drivers.

“He also needs to clarify whether he will abolish the 2.5pc fuel duty increase that cheated motorists out of the VAT cut announced last November.”

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