CONCERNED motorists and business leaders have called for the Government to re-think their plans to increase the price of fuel - and it looks likely they could be listened to.
A Labour bid to delay the increase of 3p until at least April was defeated by 282 votes to 234 in Parliament, but the treasury has hinted the delay could go ahead.
Business leaders have hit out at the idea of a rise as they claim the extra cost would hit families and companies hard at a time when they are already struggling.
Steve Pye, chairman of the Fylde coast’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) branch, says it is not just the Government behind rising costs.
He said: “The fuel rises over the last few months have been absolutely scandalous.
“The oil company’s will put it up and it won’t make a difference what the Government do. It will have a knock-on effect to businesses especially those with deliveries and cargo because they will be struggling to make it through the day.”
Hugh Evans, policy director at the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, says businesses have no choice but to pay for petrol because it is essential for their day-to-day work.
He added: “Business is being hurt by the high price it is being forced to pay for fuel.
“The road network is essential to the business operations of 94 per cent of our members who are dependent on it and who have no alternative than to pay for fuel.”
Drivers have also called for the rise to be scrapped.
Chris Pomfret, 26, from South Shore, said: “When I first started driving eight years ago it was 85p a litre and now it’s too much.
“It’s going to be a joke if it goes up again because it’s starting to hit me at work.”
Kirsten Burnett, 39, of Hilton Avenue, Lytham, added: “Everyone is feeling it in their pockets, so I don’t want it to go up again, but I want people to use more public transport.”
Stuart Parker, 58, of Coniston Road, Blackpool, says the rise was not astronomical but it would have an impact on his spending.
He added: “I pay for my private mileage outside of work and instead of paying what I do now it’s going to cost me a lot more especially now I’m spending £25 a week on petrol as it is.”