Diesel breaks £6 a gallon barrier

Motorists have been dealt a new blow with average diesel prices hitting £6 a gallon for the first time.

A national survey of fuel prices revealed an average 132.03p per litre - or £6 a gallon. It is now 35% dearer than a year ago.

Diesel passed the £5 a gallon mark just four months ago, but steadily rising oil costs have pushed prices further still since then.

Average unleaded petrol prices also hit a record of 118.65p per litre - or £5.39 a gallon.

Filling up a tank with 50 litres now costs an extra £10.86 for petrol compared to a year ago, the figures show, and £17.38 for diesel.

Oil prices were hovering around the $137 a barrel mark, marginally lower than last week's all-time high of $139.89.

The commodity has risen in price by more than 40% this year alone thanks mainly to concerns over global supplies, as well as buying from traders keen to protect themselves from a falling dollar.

Soaring diesel prices in the UK have seen a series of protests from hauliers in recent weeks. And they were brought into stark focus after the death of a farmer's wife in Cumbria earlier this week as her family tackled suspected fuel thieves.

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