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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 00:02 GMT
Petrol price rises: The impact
Man filling up at petrol station
Do people really mind paying more at the pump?
The average price of a litre of unleaded petrol hit 1 on Wednesday.

The psychologically-important barrier was broken after months of surging costs at the pump.

Businesses have told us about the positive and negative impacts which the rising cost of fuel has had on their firm.

STEVE BOWLES
MANAGER, RAY BOWLES TRANSPORT, HEATHROW

Our firm is a haulage company specialising in air freight.

The whole industry is very upset at the amount of the price rises we've seen.

Diesel has gone up by about 10 pence a litre, which for us works out as about an extra 3,000 a month.

I've got to pass that on to the client and have to act quickly, otherwise I'm going to be out of pocket.

We opposed the extra 2 pence added in fuel tax and have told the government, as an industry, that something has to be done.

Foreign trucks come in from the continent full of fuel which is 20 to 25 pence a litre cheaper than we're paying in the UK.

They can do jobs here more cheaply, which creates unfair competition.

NIKKI KEY
OPERATONS MANGER, AUTOGAS 2000, THIRSK

Our company converts cars to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

I wouldn't say the phones have been ringing off the hook as petrol prices got higher, but business is definitely picking up and those who were cautiously thinking about it are now going ahead.

LPG is about half the price of petrol at the pump, but more importantly, people are looking for security of supply and they see that in LPG.

But everybody is feeling the pinch a bit financially and they aren't spending as much as they have been.

ROB CARNELL
ALTERNATIVE FUEL SYSTEMS (AFS), HORSHAM, WEST SUSSEX

We also convert cars to run on LPG and we thought it would be a goldmine industry to get in to, but it hasn't quite worked out like that. Where we are, the demand just isn't there.

LPG is cheaper and produces far fewer emissions, but people don't seem to be interested, despite the high petrol prices.

I think it is because we are in an affluent area and nobody seems to worry about paying a few extra pence a litre for fuel.

The government isn't doing anything to encourage more people to use it and there is no licensing, which doesn't help either.

The cost of doing the conversion is typically about 1,500 so it is a medium to long-term investment.

'BUFFALO' BILL CHIDLEY
MOVING TARGET - A WEBSITE FOR BIKE COURIERS

I was a bike courier for 14 years and now work at a courier company in London.

As the costs of squirt [petrol] goes up, then so does the cost of running a motorbike, and more of the bikers have moved down to scooters because of the smaller engines.

If the price keeps rising, I would expect to see more and more couriers quitting altogether or switching to pedal bikes. It's definitely going to have an effect.

Couriers are obsessed by costs and rightly so. Petrol has been the thing they have talked about most in the last three or four years.

SEE ALSO
Average petrol cost at 1 a litre
07 Nov 07 |  Business
Tax rise fuels petrol price fears
01 Oct 07 |  Business
UK fuel prices reach new record
27 Apr 06 |  Business

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