Concern over fuel price rise

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With fuel prices expected to increase by 4p per litre in the coming days, many in the Dales are warning of the “drastic” effect more hikes could have on them.

The rises, which have been attributed to “speculation” by wholesale market traders, are expected to start filtering through as new fuel stock arrives in tankers.

Martin Waters, managing director of B J Waters haulage company in Darley Bridge, is one business owner who dreads any hike in fuel price.

He said: “All these price rises drastically affect our business as fuel really is the lifeblood – we cannot manage without it. But this is an ongoing problem we have had for many years now.

“At one point businesses would pass on any fuel price rises to the customer. But there’s been so many recently it’s just not possible to do it. So many businesses, us included, are having to absorb these rises into our profit.”

But it’s not just the obvious businesses that are feeling the strain of high petrol prices.

Faye White said: “I’m a carer and drive my car to clients all day. Fuel is already at a ridiculous price and [if it goes up] much more I’ll have to think about quitting.”

Rachel Elizabeth Bargh added that, despite the fuel price increases, employers don’t “put our wages up”.

It isn’t just people who are reliant on fuel for work, though.

Christine Clark said: “If fuel prices keep going up, we won’t be going to see our relatives in Wales as often.”

As the Mercury went to press, the Office of Fair Trading was due to release its findings on the state of Britain’s £32bn retail fuel market. The regulator has to assess whether serious competition concerns exist within the industry and make a call on whether to launch a full-blown investigation.

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