RAC urges fuel retailers to cut petrol prices as financial burden mounts on UK drivers

RAC urges fuel retailers to cut petrol prices as financial burden mounts on UK drivers
A farmer known for his widespread fuel protests 20 years ago has returned to the roads to campaign against the rising cost of fuel. 

Andrew Spence, 54, led a fleet of lorries travelling at just 5mph along the A1 motorway on Saturday (20th November) and into Newcastle city centre.

His go-slow driving protest majorly disrupted the area, blocking roads and causing mass tailbacks in an attempt to push the government to cap the price of fuel.

While the RAC doesn’t condone traffic-blocking protests, the campaign coincides with its call on retailers to “play fair with drivers” by reducing a litre of petrol by 6p amid drops in wholesale prices.

Average pump prices for petrol have shot up by 3p per litre since the start of the month, reaching 147.27p despite a recent reduction in wholesale costs.  

The failure to pass on savings is costing drivers around an extra £3.50 every time they fill up a typical 55-litre family petrol car. Diesel costs an average of 150.66p per litre, which the RAC believes should come down by at least 4p.

Mr Spence, of Consett, County Durham, said: “My farm can’t survive at this rate of taxation. I have a tractor that costs £2000 to fill, and £1300 of that is tax.

“I’ve spoken to hundreds of people, some are having to choose between food and fuel. It’s going to be a grim winter. We need to stop it now, before it’s £2 a litre.”

RAC research from earlier this month echoes this desperation felt by motorists, with four-in-10 drivers (46%) saying they’ll be forced to cut other household spending as a result of petrol and diesel prices rising.

Last month, fuel prices surpassed record highs set in April 2012, and have continued to rise.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “In the last few days the wholesale price of petrol has fallen steeply, which means the biggest retailers are in a great position to cut prices and ease the burden being felt by drivers throughout the UK who are paying £80 for a full 55-litre tank.

“As the big four supermarkets are responsible for selling 45% of all the country’s fuel, they are constantly buying new supply so they’re able to pass on the savings to customers straightaway – unlike smaller retailers who tend only to buy in fuel once a fortnight.

“The longer they hold off doing the right thing, the more money they make on every litre they sell and the worse off drivers are.

“This seems very harsh on drivers considering how many are struggling financially because of the inflated cost of filling up.

“RAC research has found that around half of drivers (46%) will be forced to cut other household spending as a result of petrol and diesel prices continuing to rise beyond their current record high levels.”

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