Fuel duty changes 2022: Preston motorists worried about fuel prices say new Government policy to help them doesn't go far enough

Lancashire drivers worried about fuel prices say the new Government policy to help them does not go far enough.

By Laura Longworth
Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 4:12 pm

Since the Post reported about where to find the cheapest petrol and diesel in Preston, Leyland and Chorley earlier this week, the Government announced it is cutting fuel duty by 5p per litre in Britain for 12 months.

But many motorists believe the policy, which came into force on Wednesday, will make little difference to their finances.

Community nurse Juliet Walker, who regularly visits clinics, care homes, GP practices and patients’ homes during her working day, says travel costs are forcing her to change jobs in order to work closer to home.

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Community nurse Juliet Walker.

The 51-year-old, from Bamber Bridge, said: "[The rising prices] are going to make it difficult for me and other nurses to travel. We need to pay nurses enough to get to work. It’s going to cause more of them to leave. [The tax cut] is not enough. We need something else. It's not going to encourage nurses to stay in [their jobs].”

Another feeling the crunch is Preston pensioner George Hall. He said: “I was listening to the RAC, [and] they reckon the prices are going to creep up again, and we’ll end up losing that 5p. It isn’t enough. They should have cut the tax by a decent amount. Then it would have helped people.”

Being retired, the 69-year-old is concerned about how he will cover a monthly £300 hike in his outgoings on his pension alone, adding: "I’ve worked all my life to get my house and savings. If I get dementia and have to go into care, the [Government] will sell my house, and it’s not fair on my children. I want an inheritance for them. It’s just a bad situation all round.”

George, who volunteers in community transport, also worries about how vulnerable people will manage to make ends meet.

George Hall, of Preston, worries about how he will afford increasing energy and fuel costs on his pension.

“People on low incomes: it’s going to impact them. They’re going to have to make a choice [between energy, food and fuel],” he said.

Drivers who live close to their workplace, like Barry Hope, also believe more support is needed.

A lecturer at Blackpool and The Fylde College, Barry said: “I’m a bit concerned about food and fuel prices. It can’t be helped with all the problems and war and big demand after Covid. I think [the tax cut] is helpful but they could have increased it a bit more.”

And homeworkers making occasional trips to the office, such as Preston-based commercial officers Megan Lester and Hayley Smith, remain anxious about prices.

Morrisons Petrol Stations in Riversway, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston.

Megan said: “I think it’s a good starting point but more needs to be done. Fuel prices have skyrocketed. How is it affordable? It seems ridiculous.”

But Shaz Malik, managing director of the FourSixes taxi group in Chorley, whose fleet are diesel vehicles, welcomes news of the duty cut.

Shaz said: "Like all taxi firms, tariffs have had to increase, but it got to a point where we couldn't put them up anymore; it wasn't fair on the passengers.

"We have also tried to help the drivers too by decreasing the rent we take off them, so they are not feeling these increases in the pocket."

Blackpool college lecturer Barry Hope.

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