Petrol prices 'heading for record high'

Petrol prices will reach record levels this year, according to research by the AA.

The organisation has warned unleaded fuel could soon cost £1.20 a litre or more and urged Chancellor Alistair Darling to delay the introduction of a planned 3p increase in petrol duty due to come in on April 1.



AA president Edmund King said: "The UK is barely out of recession, yet petrol prices threaten to rise to record prices seen during the boom of 2008 - shortly before the collapse into recession.



"If families, drivers on fixed incomes and those on low pay were unable to cope with record prices then, they are even less likely now."



AA research found an average family with two cars is paying £52 a month more to fill up now than a year ago.



The average petrol price in the UK is 115.9p for a litre of unleaded and 116.6p for a litre of diesel, according to http://www.petrolprices.com.



Even if the 3p increase is withdrawn, the price paid by drivers could soon hit 120p a litre - £5.41 a gallon - according to the organisation.



This would overtake the previous high of 119.7p in July 2008.



The AA said the price increases were caused by the rise in the price of wholesale gasoline since the end of January.



Lindsay Hoyle, the senior Labour MP on the Commons business select committee, said it was "a complete disgrace".



He told the Daily Telegraph: "Yes, crude oil has gone up this year, but nothing like the rise in petrol prices. Motorists are being legally mugged at the forecourt by petrol companies."

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