Petrol prices set to rise for Bank Holiday

Caroline Cassidy

If your bank holiday plans included a lot of driving, expect to feel the strain in your wallet as petrol prices are set to rise to more than £1.20 a litre in most forecourts.

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The RMI Independent Petrol Retailers Association, which represents 6,000 forecourts, forecast a 4p increase on this weekend's average figures bringing the price up to £1.21 a litre, although regional variations could mean that prices will be even higher.

Brian Madderson, RMI chairman, said: "The rebound in crude oil pricing is disappointing but not entirely unexpected.

"It will increase pressure on independent retailers who are fighting for survival, especially in the rural areas, due to the double hit of falling volumes and tighter margins.

"It will feed through the supply chain and could result in prices going up as much as 4p a litre in the next three weeks."

The price of crude oil is currently at $82 a barrel - an increase of $10 since June.

RAC spokesman John Franklin said: "The future looks bleak for motorists, with rising oil prices and further tax hikes.

"The coalition Government have promised to take a look at options to control the price of petrol. However, the planned fuel duty and VAT rise are likely to add a further 5p a litre.

"If the Government really want to help motorists, they should abandon these planned increases."

The Coalition Government decided to continue with Labour's plans to increase duty on fuel by 1p a litre in October and so next year the duty will rise again by 0.76p per litre on January 1st.

Paul Watters, AA's head of public affairs, believes that although oil prices are unlikely to remain high, petrol prices fluctuate wildly around the country and on average, prices are now 14p a litre higher than this time last year.

He said: "Along the holiday routes, we have seen the drivers hitting back. They arrive at an expensive fuel station put in £10-£15 of fuel and then drive off to find somewhere cheaper.

"Industry sources tell us that sales are down in some areas and we saw prices fall up to 2p a litre last week in some towns, even with wholesale prices beginning to go up."

Do you think the government should introduce price controls for fuel or charge less duty? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.