November 30, 2010

Petrol prices to rocket, warns motoring group

Petrol pump prices have risen sharply after falling back during the summer, prompting fresh warnings from motoring organisations over the impact of increased costs for drivers.

A monthly index published by the Automobile Association today shows unleaded at an average of 117.75p a litre – a 2.5p rise on the mid-September price – while diesel has gone up even more, rising from 3.28p to stand at an average of 121.30p a litre.

With the price of oil and wholesale petrol prices threatening to hit a high point last seen in April, motorists may yet see sharper increases in fuel prices, the AA warned.

However, it said a stronger pound would mean it was less likely that a record of 121.61p for a litre of unleaded would be breached again.

The latest increase follows a Government pledge to introduce a pilot scheme to discount the cost of petrol in the Highlands and islands by 5p a litre.

Though the average cost of petrol and diesel in Scotland is marginally lower than the UK as a whole, rural areas and islands have been subject to some of the highest prices, due to the added cost of transporting fuel.

On Islay, for instance, a litre of diesel can be as high as 133.3p, while a litre of unleaded is 132.1p.

The pilot scheme announced by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, earlier this month will result in a maximum 5p discount on petrol and diesel in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, and the Isles of Scilly. The Treasury is currently discussing the proposal with the European Commission to finalise the implementation and design of the scheme.

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