THE rocketing price of fuel has left Bolton motorists fuming, forcing some to use their cars less.
The cost of a litre approached record highs this weekend, pushing 120p.
A record average high of 119.7p was set in July, 2008, when diesel peaked at 133.25p. A year ago, fuel at the pumps was about 30p a litre cheaper.
Petrol pump prices vary at petrol stations around the town, and drivers filling up at the Esso garage in Bradford Street, Bolton, were paying 118.9p a litre.
The recent price hike has been caused by soaring wholesale petrol prices — from $680 a tonne a month ago to approaching $800 now — coupled with fuel duty rises.
A 1p duty increase was added on Thursday, with further penny increases planned for September and January. Motorist Eric MacDonald, aged 64, who owns a car recovery business in Bury, said: “The prices are not bringing a smile to anyone’s face.
“I do quite a bit of driving but it is just getting so expensive.
“It has a knock-on effect because now I am having to put my prices up for customers to cover it.
“No-one goes for a pleasure drive anymore to take the kids for a day out because it is just so costly.”
Sarah Pendlebury, aged 37, from Bolton, said: “I try to walk more often rather than use the car.
“I get a petrol allowance from work, but it does not incorporate the price rises.
“It just keeps getting higher and higher.”
Michelle Brown, aged 41, a legal secretary from Breightmet, said: “The price is scandalous. They are making so much money on taxes.
“The price of oil had been dropping but that has not been passed on to the customers.
“I walk two miles to work because it is just getting more and more expensive to drive.”
Retired Barry Manville, aged 61, from Harwood, said: “A couple of years ago people were protesting when it was 112p and now it is 119p and no-one seems to be bothered which I don’t understand.
“People just seem to be accepting that it will rise.
“The government has increased it, but the oil price has not gone up that much so someone is making a lot of money somewhere at the consumers’ expense.”
Paul Watters, the AA’s head of public affairs, said that as the petrol prices rise, sales at the pump fall.
He added: “We know through our AA/Populus surveys that £1.10 is the point at which UK drivers’ tolerance of rising fuel prices begins to run low.
“With greater restriction on family budgets from pay restraints, lower savings income and other fallout from the credit crunch, it should come as no surprise that rising fuel costs started to hit sales below that point.
"We have consistently argued that putting more fuel duty on petrol and diesel while prices are this high inflicts more pain for no gain.“
"C20 LET bang"