FUEL prices are expected to surge to greater heights over the next 12 months, causing more misery at the pumps for Huddersfield motorists.
Inflation could slap an extra eight pence a litre on petrol over the next year, latest predictions show.
But car owners in the town are paying less for their fuel than other parts of the country, with Yorkshire petrol costing 133.7 pence a litre – 1.9p cheaper than the most expensive price in London, of 135.6 pence.
Today, a Huddersfield petrol retailer warned a price hike could worsen the recession, causing the price of goods to rise further because of high distribution costs.
Bernard Stern, of Paddock-based CJ Stern Oils Ltd, said: “Everything has a knock-on effect.
“The rise in inflation is partly due to the price at the pumps. The price of goods rises because the price of fuel pushes delivery costs up.
“I think it is unlikely prices will come down in the short-term, unless there is a collapse in the price of oil.
“It is very tough at the moment.”
He said customers’ buying habits had also changed as fuel prices went up in recent years.
He added: “Sales are flat at the moment, and across the industry as a whole they are down significantly because of price.
“Many people have down-sized their cars to make them more fuel efficient. They are filling up less and many people are on tight budgets.”
His comments came as the AA released a report on this year’s fuel prices.
It found a family with two cars will have typically spent £241.54 more on petrol over this summer compared with a year ago.
Filling up an 80-litre commercial van tank has also cost on average £15.76 more each time than last summer.
The report also commented that September’s Retail Price Index inflation figure of 5.6% cast a dark shadow over fuel prices next year, threatening to add another seven to eight pence to the price of petrol and diesel within the next 12 months.
In mid-October, average petrol prices were 134.51p a litre, compared with 135.61p in mid-September.
Diesel is averaging 139.65p a litre compared with 139.62p in the middle of last month.
AA president Edmund King said: “The squeeze from relentlessly high pump prices is due to get worse as driving in the dark and winter weather adds greater fuel consumption to motorists’ misery.
“If the Government isn’t prepared to tackle high oil and fuel prices and their drain on the nation’s wellbeing, it should at least commit to freezing fuel duty until petrol falls at least below 125p a litre and diesel below 130p.
“If not, even more lower-income and rural motorists will be driven off the road.”