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Diesel prices hit motorists and hauliers

PUBLISHED: 09:18 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:56 06 July 2010

MOTORISTS and hauliers in Suffolk are suffering at the hands of the highest diesel prices in the country, it has emerged.

Diesel has climbed to nearly 106p at some pumps - 2p above the national average - with the average cost of unleaded hitting £1-a-litre for the first time since last October.

MOTORISTS and hauliers in Suffolk are suffering at the hands of the highest diesel prices in the country, it has emerged.

Diesel has climbed to nearly 106p at some pumps - 2p above the national average - with the average cost of unleaded hitting £1-a-litre for the first time since last October.

Unleaded has increased since the start of the year, from a national average of 86.1p per litre to 100.1p. For drivers with a 55-litre tank, this means forking out an additional £7.70 every time they fill up.

People living in rural areas on low incomes or pensions are expected to be the hardest hit, according to a campaign group.

Dr Wil Gibson, chief executive of Suffolk ACRE, which supports rural communities, said: “The gradual increase is certainly worrying particularly at this time when people are feeling the crunch.

“For many, not using a car is not an option and it all begins to impact on their disposable income.”

The £1 mark was reached on Monday and prices at the pumps have now risen 4p a litre in the past month, the AA said.

The motoring group gave warnings that rising oil prices would leave cash-strapped consumers with less money to spend on leisure and the high street.

Average unleaded prices in Ipswich yesterday were around the 96.7p mark, while diesel came in under the national average at 102p.

However, in more rural areas such as Southwold, Eye and Sudbury, diesel has been fetching 105p and above.

Peter Butler, senior area manager for the eastern and southern region of the Road Haulage Association, said prices in East Anglia were historically higher than in other parts of the country.

“Depending on where you are from the oil refinery, it will cost more or less,” he said. “I am not sure why it is, but it seems to be more expensive in East Anglia.

“Rising prices affect everybody. When fuel goes up the cost of delivering goods goes up and the cost of goods goes up. These rises aren't caused by the government so there isn't much we can do about it.”

The price of oil leapt to $67 a barrell yesterday after Goldman Sachs significantly increased its forecast for the cost of crude oil to nearly $85 by the end of 2009.

Oil prices hit an all-time high of $147 a barrel in July last, which sent prices at the pump soaring to 119.5p.

This year, oil tumbled to $32.70 on fears that the demand from recession-hit countries would fall, but despite the steep drop, petrol prices fell back to only 86.5p.

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