Byline: RICHARD GRAY
PETROL has soared to more than [pounds sterling]4 per gallon in some areas of Scotland after fresh price increases.
Oil companies increased fuel prices by between two and three pence a litre last week, taking the Scottish average price for unleaded petrol to [pounds sterling]3.68 per gallon.
The increases have badly affected remote areas of Scotland, with many garages now selling petrol at more than [pounds sterling]4 a gallon compared with last year's average of [pounds sterling]3.46. John Gordon, who works at The Glen service station in Fort Augustus at the southern tip of Loch Ness, said a gallon of unleaded was now [pounds sterling]3.86 while the cost of lead replacement petrol had risen to 88.9 pence per litre - [pounds sterling]4.04 a gallon.
Mr Gordon said: 'That is the highest our prices have ever been. They just keep going up and up.
'We have not noticed a drop in trade, but the nearest petrol station is seven miles away so if drivers are short of fuel they have little choice.'
Motoring organisations and politicians criticised the latest increases and expressed fears about the continuing rise in fuel prices.
They said nearly 86 per cent of the cost of petrol was made up of tax increases by the Chancellor and claimed motorists in remote areas of Scotland were being exploited by many garages. A spokesman for the RAC said rural garages had to charge extra on top of normal petrol prices due to transportation costs in getting fuel to remote locations.
He said: 'Remote petrol stations charge more to cover transportation and to make up for poor business.
This creates a knock-on effect at the pumps and affects people in rural Scotland very badly. …