Crisis as £6 gallon nears

Time 2:01 pm, May 21, 2008

DRIVERS are having to cope with the fastest rise in diesel pump prices for a decade as the fuel crisis deepens.


Latest figures from the AA show that the national average price for a litre of diesel has now reached 126p with a litre of petrol costing 113.7p.


With a barrel of crude oil now at a record $130, further prices rises will filter through to the pumps in the coming weeks making the £6 gallon (131.9p a litre) a reality.


AA data reveals that in recent weeks the price of diesel has risen at a faster rate than petrol.


Between mid-April and mid-May, the average price of a litre of diesel rose 6.76p – the previous record rise occurred between October and November last year. Meanwhile, the average price of petrol rose 4.49p a litre over the same period.


Diesel prices are also being driven higher relative to petrol because demand for diesel in Britain is rising, while that for petrol has been falling. Ironically, the rise in fuel prices has driven motorists into more fuel-efficient diesel models.


As pump prices continue to rise, speculation is mounting that a new round of fuel price protests will start in London next week.


Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said at the CBI annual dinner last night: ‘It is time for international action. I shall be raising this issue at the G8 in Japan next month and shall be proposing that we discuss with oil producers how we reduce these costs.’

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