Fuel crisis

Motorists hit as petrol surges towards £2 per litre

Prices of petrol and diesel are hitting record highs (pic: Terry Murden)

Motoring organisation the RAC has declared a “national fuel crisis” as pump prices for petrol are expected to soar above £2 a litre.

At that price, the cost of filling the tank of an average family car would rise to about £110.

Some petrol stations are already selling beyond 200p, including one on the M9 near Stirling and the M6 in Cumbria, with reports of up to 208p in the islands. The average in Scotland is around 180p for petrol and nearly 190p for diesel while 194p to 197p is common in parts of England and Wales.

Government data has revealed petrol prices have surged by 37% in 12 months and 3.9% in the past week alone.

Analysts predict that oil will average $135 a barrel for the rest of this year as the intensifying war in Ukraine adds pressure to a supply issue caused by rising global demand, and sterling weakening against the dollar.

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Businesses heavily dependent on fuel are facing a massive extra burden, with freight companies reporting that the cost of running just one lorry is already up £20,000 on last year.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “We strongly urge the Government to take drastic action to help soften the impact for drivers from these never-before-seen pump prices.

“Drivers surely won’t be able to cope unless something is done to help.

“This is fast becoming a national crisis for the country’s 32 million car drivers as well as countless businesses.”

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said: “Shock and awe is the only way to describe what has been happening at the pump during the half-term break.

“Little wonder that nearly half of drivers stayed at home for the Jubilee extended bank holiday.”

James Andrews, personal finance expert at Money.co.uk said: “The public are only too well aware that for every pound spent on petrol, more than 82p of fuel duty and VAT goes straight to the Treasury, which is already under sustained pressure to do more to ease the cost of living crisis. It’s an effective overall tax rate of 46.8% on petrol and 45.2% on diesel.

“A tank of fuel could now cost you £100. It’s a psychological tipping point that will have politicians quaking in their boots.

“The Chancellor cut fuel duty by 5p in March but with prices up ten times that amount compared with 2021, calls for further tax cuts will now inevitably move up a gear.”

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said: “The Conservative government are too busy tearing themselves apart to tackle the brutal price hikes facing working people.

“Motorists are being taken for a ride, and this hapless government are too distracted to do anything about it.

“The Conservative government needs to tackle the brutal petrol hikes, and support Labour’s call to put money back in the pockets of working people with an emergency budget.”


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