120p a litre: price of petrol soars to all-time high

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The Independent Online

Petrol prices have soared to an all-time high, it was announced today.

The average price of a litre of petrol at the pumps is now 120p, eclipsing the previous peak of 119.7p reached in July 2008, the RAC said.

"This is a dark day for motorists," said RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink.

The new record comes just days after the Government raised fuel duty by 1p a litre. A further 1p rise is due in the autumn, with a 0.76p increase planned for next January.

The RAC said the increase had been caused by a combination of factors.

Primarily, the weak pound and the increase in the wholesale price of fuel had produced a steady rise since the beginning of the year. Also, tax rises since December 2008 have added around 10p to the cost of a litre of fuel.

Mr Tink said: "Petrol prices have been rising steadily over the past year and have now reached the inevitable record high. However, this is only the average. In some areas motorists will be paying close to £6 a gallon (131.9p a litre).

"With the election campaign now in full swing, Britain's hard-pressed motorists will be keen to hear what the political parties have to say about the escalating petrol prices. This is a key issue for Britain's 32 million motorists, who are watching their bank accounts drained every time they fill up."