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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Petrol price reaches 1 per litre
Rural petrol station
Petrol prices have broken the 1 per litre barrier in the Western Isles
The price of petrol in the more remote parts of Scotland has broken through the 1 per litre barrier.

Three garages in the Western Isles are now charging the landmark price, which adds up to more than 4.50 a gallon.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) said islanders are being punished for their remote location.

Meanwhile, experts added that it would have a serious impact on island tourism where the industry is one of the mainstays of the local economy.

Both unleaded petrol and diesel prices in the Outer Hebrides topped the 1 per litre mark at several places.

We're being dramatically penalised for living on this island and that's outrageous and unfair on the people in this community
Angus Nicholson
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Prices in Benbecula have reached 102.8p for unleaded petrol and 103.8p for diesel - with similar levels on Barra.

Campbell's Filling Station at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis is charging 100.9 for unleaded petrol and 1p more for diesel.

Ardhasaig Filling Station on the Isle of Harris is charging 101.8p for diesel and 96.9p for unleaded petrol.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar councillor Angus Nicholson fears the price hike will badly affect the region and called on MSPs and MPs to help.

The chair of the council's environmental services committee said: "It was inevitable that 1 per litre was just around the corner.

'Outrageous and unfair'

"It's exceptionally serious when you add that on top of the outrageous ferry fares we have to pay.

"We're being dramatically penalised for living on this island and that's outrageous and unfair on the people in this community.

"There could be a much wider and broader approach to this problem of dealing with island communities and making sure that they are sustainable and that they survive.

Petrol and diesel
Prices have risen past 1 per litre for both petrol and diesel

"Both parliaments need to get their heads together, to get their heads banged together, to solve this problem."

The Scottish Tourism Forum explained how the expensive fuel was already affecting businesses in the region and would stunt the important growth of tourism in the region over time.

Its chief executive Alan Rankin said: "This is affecting the supply prices to some of these rural businesses and they are really struggling to have a sustainable business across the year.

"This is just yet another factor that is really controlling and limiting tourism development in Scotland.

"We don't see visitors checking petrol prices before they come here.

"The more expensive it is to travel per mile will reduce the range of touring holidays, so that is obviously going to impact on the Highlands and Islands where tourism is critical."

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