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Fuel price at a record high, despite falling market costs

By: David Howells
18 February 2011

Despite a reduction in the European market's cost of fuel, prices at pumps in the UK have reached a record high.

The AA has suggested that these figures prove that the falling European costs are not being passed on to UK customers. 

Average petrol prices have reached 128.81p per litre (up 0.54p on mid-January prices) and 134.01p per litre for diesel (1.26p up on January's figures), with prices forecast to rise even further over the coming months.

The breakdown service has urged forecourts and supermarkets to follow mainland Europe's lead, by passing on the falling cost of fuel to the customers. It claims that costs are up at a time when the average market cost dropped by 2 pence per litre.

It also suggested that a 'postcode lottery' is in place, where prices can vary by as much as four pence per litre - with Northern Ireland faring the worst.

The news came after the AA urged the government to put in place a price regulator, as it would help logistics consultancies and small businesses cope with the ever-rising prices.

AA President, Edmund King, told The Guardian: "With record fuel prices a key influence on rising inflation, the AA again calls for a published track of wholesale versus pump prices, as is available in the US, Australia and South East Asia."

King added that retailers should realise that by providing greater transparency on price, they will protect their own interests, and that of the government and consumers. 

He encouraged the government to scrap "the fuel duty increase on April 1," and implement a fuel price regulator akin to those created for domestic energy. This would act as an "honest broker" between consumers, markets and retailers, King said, helping creating consistent prices throughout different towns.

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