North-south divide persists at the pumps despite petrol price reductions

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Average petrol prices have fallen to their lowest level for nine months but there is a clear north-south divide in how much drivers are paying, the AA has said.

UK petrol pump prices now average 132.54p a litre – a level last seen in March and down 1.16p on a month ago. But across London and south-east England, the average price is 133.55p a litre compared with 131.63p across northern England and, nationwide, diesel now averages 141.15p a litre – up from the mid-November figure of 140.95p.

The AA said that for the entire year, petrol has averaged 133.83p a litre, while the pump price of diesel has averaged 139.17p.

AA president Edmund King said: “As more severe winter conditions push up fuel consumption and families contemplate the cost of Christmas travel, it will anger many that pump prices remain artificially high in so many places. This is simply because there isn’t the transparency in the fuel market to indicate where prices should be.

“Only when such glaring regional disparities as we’ve seen this month emerge or prices between neighbouring towns vary by as much as 4p a litre do motorists know that something is wrong.

He added: “Although falling oil prices have brought prices back to where they were in the spring, the relief isn’t that great for rural and lower-income drivers.”