Fuel price rise sparks outcry

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MOTORISTS across the Fylde coast are set for further hardship as fuel costs continue to soar.

Despite the struggling state of the economy, the average petrol price has increased by more than five per cent in just two months, with a 4p rise in February, meaning that in some parts of the country it costs around £100 to fill up the family car.

At petrol stations across Blackpool and Fylde, unleaded petrol varies between £1.34 a litre and £1.43 a litre.

Owners of diesel cars are paying between £1.41 and £1.49 a litre under current prices.

Mick Threlfall of M Threlfall Transport Ltd, based in Freckleton, said: “Mine are like most peoples thoughts, that this is an easy way to get money.

“The fuel price cost is getting towards 50 per cent of our delivery takings. As for diesel, the cost fluctuates every week.

“Maybe it’s out of control. It has gone up in price for no particular reason. There is no point in being angry – it’s one of those costs we cannot negotiate with.”

George Osborne attempted to ease the pain of petrol prices in last week’s Budget by cancelling a proposed 3p increase in fuel duty, but prices at the pump are still hitting businesses hard. Brian Marshall, a driving instructor who works across the Fylde coast and Preston, said he was forced to change his car to combat fuel costs.

He added: “It has a big effect. With my old car I was getting 38 miles to the gallon, but now with a different car this is nearer 70 miles to the gallon – it was a case of buy a new one rather than keep the one I had.

“I have to travel further for lessons than before. The other factor is staying competitive with prices – my lesson prices haven’t moved up like fuel prices have.

“I remember when I first started it was 70p a gallon – now it has doubled.”

A manager at Premier Taxis, of Lytham Road, Blackpool, who did not wish to be named, said: “The fuel prices have had a dramatic effect on the drivers’ income.

“On average fuel is taking 20 to 25 per cent of their money. Depending on the journeys they are doing it obviously affects their income greatly.”

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