Petrol prices “affecting everyone”

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ANGRY motorists have hit out over increases in the price of fuel.

Drivers in Hartlepool said they are “disgusted” by the soaring prices and some are now forking out as much as £60 a week to keep their car on the roads.

Average petrol prices nationwide have rocketed by 16 pence a litre in just 12 months, with the cheapest petrol in Hartlepool now costing 124.9p per litre, and diesel prices starting at 129.9p per litre.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright has warned the cost of fuel could rise as high as 150p a litre and has called for the Government to “look again” at the pain the prices are inflicting on motorists.

He said: “I have had a number of businesses getting in contact with me saying they may go under or have to let staff go because of the increase in fuel costs.

“People are feeling the pinch and it may well get to the point where people can’t actually afford to put the fuel in to get to work.

“The Government need to look at easing the pain for people, they have spoke in the past about a fuel stabiliser and I think they need to look at this again.”

Bosses at Streamline taxis said everyone has been affected by the recent price rise.

Rob Pattison, manager of the Tower Street-based firm, said: “As a company we run a lot of special offers in the town, but we have had to increase the charge of them by 20 pence.

“It is still a lot cheaper than what people are having to pay to run their own cars.

“Our drivers have all said they have seen a big difference since the prices were increased yet again.”

Haulage firm owner Ian Butler, who runs Stag Transport on the Sandgate Industrial Estate, in Hartlepool, said: “It is very difficult times, if we are charging £500 for a job we are having to spend £250 on fuel.

“The insurance prices have risen as well and we are finding it difficult to absorb it.

“I don’t think it is going to get better.”

The recent hike at the weekend means the price of petrol is now rising at the highest rate in the last 10 years, according to the AA.

The average two car family are now spending nearly £35 more on petrol every month compared to this time last year.

An increase in fuel duty paired with the VAT rise resulted in average petrol prices increasing from £122.14 per litre to a new record of £128.27 last month, according to the AA.

The rise means the cost of filling up a typical 50-litre tank with petrol has risen by more than £8 and almost £10 to fill it with diesel.

In the first nine months of 2010, UK retailers sold more than one billion fewer litres than the same time in 2007.