Remote parts of region could see fuel price cut

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A MINISTER has raised hopes that remote parts of Yorkshire could benefit from fuel duty discounts being trialled in the Scottish islands and Scilly Isles.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said the Government was “looking at rolling that out” – even though Treasury officials have downplayed the prospect of the 5p cut in duty being extended.

The pilots are due to begin in March after Ministers got clearance from the European Union to address higher rural fuel costs by offering the discounts in the most remote areas.

The move was first proposed by the Liberal Democrats before the election and aims to address concerns that fuel costs more in rural areas, as well as people being more reliant on their vehicles and having less access to public transport. Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh, who chairs the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee, and Skipton and Ripon’s Julian Smith have both been pressing Ministers to extend the offer to remote parts of North Yorkshire.

Farmers, businesses and residents have all been particularly hard hit in these areas by rising petrol and diesel prices over the recent months.

Asked whether the discounts could be extended beyond the initial pilot areas, as called for in our Give us a Fair Deal campaign to boost the region’s economy, Mr Benyon told the Yorkshire Post: “It depends on the success of the scheme and how applicable it is.

“We do recognise for people who live in remote parts of North Yorkshire the car is not a luxury it’s a necessity.” jonathan.reed@ypn.co.uk