Petrol price hits record high


King: "Prices are hurting the economy, individuals, and all businesses out there"

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The average price of unleaded petrol has reached a new high of 137.44p per litre, according to industry analysts Experian Catalist.

That just exceeds the average of 137.43p reached in May 2011.

Petrol has been pushed up by oil prices, which have risen in recent months due to tensions over Iran's nuclear plans and unrest in the region.

The weak pound has also been making oil, which is bought in US dollars, more expensive for British buyers.

The price of Brent crude oil hit a 43-month high on Thursday, peaking at $128.40 a barrel in New York.

The average price of diesel, which was already at an all-time high, continued to rise to 144.67p per litre, Experian Catalist said.

'Hurting badly'

Fuel campaigners have called for the chancellor to scrap the 3p a litre rise in fuel duty planned for August.

However, reports suggest that George Osborne is unlikely to alter current plans.

Comparison of petrol, diesel and oil prices

AA President Edmund King said: "This new record for petrol and diesel just confirms what every family and business knows - fuel prices are hurting them badly and there seems no stopping them.

"The AA has asked the chancellor to do what he can to protect the UK economy from fuel market volatility and record high prices which are stemming growth.

"There is no more give in family and business budgets despite them cutting back on fuel purchase and other spending so they can get to work and go about their business."

Meanwhile, a survey by the Countryside Alliance has indicated that the price of diesel in rural areas is, on average, 4p more than in urban areas.

The most expensive diesel was in Purbeck in Dorset and Ryedale in North Yorkshire, where it costs an average 146.9p per litre.

Diesel was cheapest - at an average 139.7p per litre - in North Tyneside, Birmingham and Dartford, Kent.

The Countryside Alliance said cars were becoming an "unaffordable necessity" for many living in rural communities.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    The price of petrol is damaging the economy. Most people use their cars to get to work and back only. The days of driving for pleasure have gone.
    The VAT and duty on petrol represents a tax on going to work. Surely, with nearly 3 million unemployed, we should be ENCOURAGING people to work?
    For those obssessed with public transport, kindly remember we don't all live in big cities.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    If public transport were better id use it but 2.5 hours each way for a 15 mile journey at the cost of 50 quid a week is crazy. I work 15 miles away from my house too far to walk (well its not but it would take hours), no cycle paths to use and I dont fancy a push bike on A roads! My car is a 1 litre engined car so hardly a gas guzzler but if fuel goes up much more I will seriously consider cycling

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    I used buses and trains for about 15 years and I have sat at stations and stops for many many hours in the rain and snow and walked home many times in poor weather as the bus couldn't be bothered to turn up - so telling me public transport is great , well erm lets just say doesn't quite cut it. I passed my test in 2009 and have never looked back, its so nice getting home warm and dry.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Its alright for all you southerners saying it means less people will be on the road, but up here in the countryside, a car is a necessity. There are no bus services or trains anywhere near me, and my car is the only way I can get to work. If I have to ditch my car because of fuel prices, what would my options be? quit my job and go on the dole, taking money from the taxpayer rather than paying it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    If you can still ride a bike, now is the time to get one and also to campaign for more safe cycling routes and proper cycling lanes protected by kerbs. Many car journeys are less than 5 miles and could be easily done by bike, you will be healthier and save a fortune. It's about time road planners put cycling first as the cheapest, greenest and most efficient option for many journeys.


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