East Anglia tops list for costly fuel

FUEL in East Anglia is today exposed as the most expensive in England in a new survey from the AA.

FUEL in East Anglia is today exposed as the most expensive in England in a new survey from the AA.

But motoring chiefs said that most people in the area were not having to pay such high prices as supermarket and town forecourts were in line with other parts of the country.

A spokesman for the AA said the figures for East Anglia were skewed by the large number of small town and village garages which survive in the region - and charge higher prices than supermarkets and large forecourts.

The average price of unleaded petrol in East Anglia this month is 102.1p a litre - only Northern Ireland is more expensive with the average price up at 102.5p a litre.

The average price of diesel in the region is 106p a litre - topped only in Wales where it costs £106.2p.

Luke Bosdet from the AA said: “Those areas are all fairly rural with a large number of village garages which tend to be more expensive.

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“But in towns supermarkets and large forecourts tend to have lower prices.”

The average cost of fuel at supermarkets was 100.1p for petrol and 103.4p for diesel.

Unlike most other European countries, there is no difference between fuel duty on petrol and diesel in Britain, meaning that diesel is more expensive in this country than in our near neighbours - although the cost of petrol is roughly on a par.

This month's big price rises have been blamed on the rising price of oil on the world market and on the effects of the Coryton oil refinery fire at the end of last month.

The AA hit out at the government for going ahead with the fuel duty increase last month.

Paul Watters, head of AA public affairs, said: “Despite the enormous logistical task of sourcing fuel to fill the gap left by reduced production at Coryton, the suppliers have managed to keep petrol stations stocked, albeit with occasional delays, and avoided any panic-buying by drivers.

“The breaching of the £1-a-litre price threshold has had, perhaps, as significant an impact on fuel prices as other pressures. Retailers, who may have previously shied away from charging above the psychological £1 barrier, have seen neighbouring competitors do so, followed suit, and the genie is now out of the bottle for good.

“Sadly, had the Government listened to pleas not to impose the 2p duty rise in October, the UK would on average still be a penny away from the brink. In the light of current rising prices, the proposed further 2p increase in April must be regarded as unthinkable.”

N Is fuel too expensive? Have you cut down on your driving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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