Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 16:23 UK

Holiday drivers face price hike

Petrol pump
Motorists will be feeling the pinch this bank holiday weekend, the AA says.

Bank holiday drivers face a 29% rise in diesel prices and a 17% rise in petrol prices compared with this time last year, motoring group the AA said.

Drivers using diesel will pay 15 more than last year on average to fill up a 50 litre tank, and motorists using unleaded petrol an average of 9 more.

The AA has joined calls for the Chancellor to delay the 2 pence a litre rise in fuel prices in the Autumn.

A litre of petrol costs an average 114.2p. Diesel is 126.7p on average.

A year ago, motorists were paying less than a pound for a litre of fuel on average.

The substantial increases have been driven by the rising price of oil.

Cheapest unleaded: 107.9p (Gateshead)
Most expensive unleaded: 125p (Northampton)
Cheapest diesel: 117.9p (Mansfield)
Most expensive diesel: 138p (Hexham)

This week, the price of a barrel of oil reached over $135, more than twice what it was a year ago.

"It will strike a lot of people driving this weekend just how different things are," said the AA's Andrew Howard.

This bank holiday weekend is the start of the half-term holiday for much of the UK, which will mean many families drive long distances.

The average length of journey put into the AA's route planner website is 304 miles.

But a survey carried out by the motoring organisation in March and April found higher fuel prices were forcing 16% of respondents to use their cars less and 27% to cut their spending.

Yes the government needs money, but why always target car owners?
Simon, Nottingham

There is expected to be one-third more traffic on Britain's roads on Friday than normal.

In an attempt to reduce congestion on England's major roads and motorways, the Highways Agency has suspended 18 sets of roadworks until midnight on Monday.

A further 17 sets of roadworks have been completed in time for the weekend, the agency said.

Petrol price graph

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