One of Lancashire’s most senior politicians has warned that spiralling fuel prices are crippling parts of the county.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, said prices have reached “crisis point” with rural parts of his constituency seeing diesel prices hitting
The Chancellor George Osborne is coming under increasing pressure to hold off on increase duty at the pump by 3p per litre at his Budget later this month.
Mr Evans said he had spoken with the Chancellor about the issue and hoped that he would act to ease the burden.
He said: “When the decision was taken to freeze duty on fuel in January, the country had historically high prices but today we are above even that.
“In places like the Ribble Valley, a car is not a luxury it is a necessity, while the burden these prices place on our businesses are increasingly becoming a heavy burden.
“For everyone and particularly those in rural areas, I believe we are reaching crisis point with the level fuel prices have reached.”
Research by the Countryside Alliance has shown that rural parts of the country are paying 4p more per litre than motorists in urban areas, despite the national average price of a litre of unleaded fuel hitting a record 137.44p.
The price of petrol has risen by more than 1.25p a litre in the past week, according to research by The AA.
Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White-Spunner 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 families in rural communities.
“We urge the Chancellor to help the rural economy get back on its feet and to cut fuel duty in his forthcoming Budget announcement.”