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RAC sounds warning as petrol price nears 180p a litre

Motorists face a summer of “frightening” fuel prices, with the cost of petrol expected to hit a record 180p a litre by the end of this week.

Petrol prices rose by almost 6p a litre at forecourts over the bank holiday week to a new high of 177.9p, prompting the RAC, the motoring organisation, to call for “radical government intervention”. Data from Experian Catalist, a petrol industry research provider, showed that diesel prices rose to 185p per litre over the same period.

The soaring prices meant that filling a typical family car with petrol became about £3 more expensive during the course of the week, which was half-term for almost all schools in England and Wales.

The increases have been driven by a sharp rise in the cost of oil, a shortage of fuel and a surge in demand after the global easing of coronavirus restrictions. In addition, fuel prices had been “boosted by summer motoring demand”, the RAC said.

Simon Williams, a spokesman for the RAC, yesterday demanded more action from the government after the 5p-per-litre cut in fuel duty implemented in March. “With oil now above $120 a barrel and sterling still at $1.20, worse is still to come,” he said. “Radical government intervention is urgently needed, whether that’s in the form of a further reduction in fuel duty or a VAT cut.”

The RAC said there would be a “national crisis” if the average price for a litre of petrol exceeded 180p. It added that 32 million motorists and “countless businesses” would be affected by the record prices.

Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said: “Shock and awe is the only way to describe what has been happening at the pump. Little wonder that nearly half of drivers stayed at home for the jubilee bank holiday.”

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