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Fuel prices threaten rural economy

New research shows that cost of diesel at rural filling stations is over 4p more per litre than diesel at stations in urban areas. Higher prices at rural filling stations, coupled with longer distances between home, work and essential services, means cars are becoming an ‘unaffordable necessity’ for many living in rural communities.  As the debate over fuel duty gets heated in the run-up to this year’s budget, the Countryside Alliance has today released research that shows how the price of a litre of diesel is much higher at filling stations in the countryside, and have urged the Chancellor to tackle the rising cost of fuel in the budget for the good of the rural economy.

Key Findings

  • Drivers filling up at stations in rural areas will, on average, pay over 4 pence more for the cheapest litre of diesel compared with the cheapest in urban areas.
  • Those living in Purbeck and Ryedale fare worst, with 146.9p for a litre of diesel being the lowest price in their area. City dwellers are far more fortunate, with drivers from North Tyneside, to Birmingham, to Dartford benefiting from a pump price of 139.7p. That’s a difference of 7.2p per litre. (All prices are from PetrolPrices.com)
  • Despite people who live and work in rural areas having to cover much greater distances in their cars, smaller demand and less competition have led to a higher price of diesel, with serious and detrimental effects on the rural economy.

Barney White-Spunner, Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said:

“Not only do people living in rural areas have to drive further to go to work, further to access essential services like schools, doctors and the supermarket; but they have to pay a lot more for their diesel to do so. The cost of fuel is a major concern for everyone who lives in the countryside, and cars are fast becoming an unaffordable necessity for many rural families. We urge the Chancellor to help the rural economy get back on its feet and to cut fuel duty in his forthcoming budget.”

Research (all figures from www.PetrolPrices.com):

 

Very Rural

Diesel Price low (p)

 

Major Urban

Diesel Price low (p)

Babergh

144.9

 

Birmingham

139.7

Breckland

142.9

 

Bolton

139.7

Chichester

144.9

 

Bradford

139.7

Cornwall

143.9

 

Bury

139.7

Cotswold

144.9

 

Dartford

139.7

Daventry

145.9

 

Dudley

139.7

Derbyshire Dales

143.9

 

Enfield

141.9

East Cambridgeshire

144.9

 

Gateshead

139.9

Fenland

143.9

 

Gravesham

139.7

Forest Heath

143.9

 

Kirklees

140.7

Forest of Dean

143.9

 

Knowsley

139.7

Harborough

142.9

 

Leeds

139.9

Huntingdonshire

142.9

 

Liverpool

139.9

Maldon

143.9

 

Manchester

139.7

Mendip

143.9

 

Newcastle upon Tyne

139.9

Mid Devon

142.9

 

North Tyneside

139.7

North Dorset

142.9

 

Oldham

139.7

North Norfolk

143.9

 

Rochdale

139.7

Purbeck

146.9

 

Salford

139.7

Ribble Valley

143.9

 

Sandwell

139.7

Richmondshire

143.9

 

Solihull

140.9

Rutland

143.9

 

Spelthorne

141.5

Ryedale

146.9

 

St. Helens

139.7

South Cambridgeshire

142.9

 

Stockport

139.9

South Hams

141.9

 

Sunderland

139.7

Stratford-on-Avon

142.9

 

Tameside

139.7

Torridge

142.9

 

Trafford

139.7

West Dorset

142.9

 

Watford

139.9

West Somerset

143.9

 

Wigan

139.7

Wychavon

145.9

 

Wolverhampton

139.9

AVERAGE

144.0

 

AVERAGE

140.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Methodology

The Countryside Alliance selected 30 councils (using a fair geographical spread) from councils listed under the Government classification of ‘Very rural’ and 30 from the classification ‘Major Urban’. Councils are classed as 'Very rural' if 80% or more of their population live in either rural settlements or market towns, where a 'rural settlement' is any settlement of less than 10,000 people and a 'market town' is a settlement of between 10,000 and 30,000. Councils are classed as 'Major urban' if either at least 50% or at least 100,000 of their population live in an urban area with a total population of 750,000 or more.

´╗┐Using the council town hall as the postcode, we used PetrolPrices.com – a free, fuel price comparison website – and searched the price of diesel within a five mile radius of the town hall, logging the lowest price of a litre of diesel at a filling station within that five mile radius (under the assumption that consumers tend to shop around for the cheapest petrol within that area). Prices were exact at the pump as of 28th February.´╗┐

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