DRIVERS in upper Wensleydale will see a fall in their petrol and diesel costs after the European Commission approved plans to cut fuel duty in the area.
The EU has agreed that the area around Hawes is so remote it should be treated in the same way as some of the UK’s islands which already enjoy a lower duty to reflect the higher costs of transportation.
The move should mean petrol stations in the area should be able to reduce their prices by five pence per litre from the end of May.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, who has championed the idea, said: “I have made introducing the Rural Fuel Rebate a top priority because I know from my own experience that cars are a necessity, not a luxury, for people living in remote communities – and that petrol in these areas is far more expensive than the rest of the UK.
“People will see lower prices from the end of May, with filling stations in the 17 selected areas able to register for the scheme from April 1. Combined with the current fall in oil prices and the freeze in fuel duty rates nationwide, this 5p discount on fuel prices will provide a much-needed boost to families who face the highest fuel prices.”
In all 17 mainland areas of the UK will be able to benefit from lower fuel duty for the first time.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The announcement comes as prices are starting to edge up again from recent lows and this is good news for many people in remote areas who are likely to be driving further than the UK average.
“But we must not forget the biggest influence on the price of fuel remains the Chancellor who is taking more than two-thirds of what we pay at the pumps in tax.”