Fuel prices head for all time high

MOTORISTS and businesses in East Anglia are set to be hit hardest as petrol prices head for an all-time high.The region currently has the highest price per litre for diesel in the UK, and is joint-second highest for unleaded petrol.

MOTORISTS and businesses in East Anglia are set to be hit hardest as petrol prices head for an all-time high.

The region currently has the highest price per litre for diesel in the UK, and is joint-second highest for unleaded petrol. And prices are likely to increase, according to the independent road safety organisation IAM Motoring Trust.

Latest figures up to mid-October show the average diesel price in East Anglia was 99.7p per litre compared to the national average of 99.3p, while unleaded was 97.8p per litre compared to the 97.3p average.

And it is set to get worse after the average price for diesel broke the £1 per litre barrier for the first time on Friday.

It is also expected the average cost of unleaded petrol will break the £1 per litre barrier soon, with East Anglian motorists hit hardest.

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring claimed petrol companies were taking advantage of motorists in rural communities.

Most Read

The Conservative MP said: “We are in a ridiculous situation where people in a rural county who need their cars to travel are paying more than people in urban areas where there is no absolute need to have a car at all.

“The problem is that they have a captive audience in this region and they take advantage of it.”

If the predictions of further price hikes prove true the knock-on affect for East Anglian business could be significant.

Liam Boyle, deputy director of the Road Haulage Association, said it had been the 11th consecutive week of fuel price increases.

He said: “This has pushed operators' costs to an all time high and therefore it will affect the costs of the goods that they make.

“There will be some operators who are not able to pass on those costs and this may result in businesses ceasing to function and closing down with a loss of jobs.”

The Petrol Retailers Association deny Mr Spring's claims that they are taking advantage of the rural community.

Ray Holloway, director of the RMI Petrol Retailers Association, said petrol forecourts in urban and suburban areas sell more fuel because they have more passing trade.

He said: “Having higher sales allows a retailer to spread the costs across each litre. By implication the smaller retailer is financially disadvantaged unless they charge each customer more. This isn't profiteering it's a straight forward business fact.”

The IAM Motoring Trust said prices vary between the regions mainly because of two factors.

One is that distribution costs are higher in rural areas because of the transport involved and also local competition usually started by a supermarket price war.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter