Petrol prices hit 140p per litre for first time in a decade

Petrol prices have hit 140p for the first time in a decade as the energy and fuel crises bite, the AA has said.

Research by the motoring association showed prices at the pump are now at their highest levels since 2012, as skyrocketing gas prices also drive up demand for oil.

It comes as schools warn they will struggle to keep pupils warm this winter, due to surging energy bills.

Research by the AA showed that petrol prices leapt from 135p in mid September to 140p this week, while diesel shot up from 136p to 143p.

‘Higher pump prices will heap more pressure on the consumer’

Petrol prices have been rising steadily throughout the year, as production has been outstripped by the rapidly growing demand as economies revive after Covid.

Petrol cost to the consumer on the rise

However, the latest petrol spike comes as gas prices have more than doubled in recent weeks due to a global shortage, causing the commodities markets to predict a rise in oil demand as industries switch over from gas-powered energy.

An AA spokesman said: “The higher pump prices will heap more pressure on the consumer and inflation.”

On Friday, British HGV drivers also accused the Government of undercutting them with European workers after ministers proposed 800 seasonal work visas for EU migrants to ease driver shortages.

The Road Haulage Association said allowing drivers from the EU to make unlimited deliveries while they are in the UK amounted to "taking work from British operators and drivers".

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, called the criticisms "extraordinary" and said rule changes would lead to thousands more drivers on the road and more goods on the shelves at Christmas.

School faces energy crisis this winter

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the skyrocketing gas prices are leaving head teachers facing budget crises as they try to keep schools heated this winter.

While many schools are on fixed energy deals, hundreds have flexible tariffs or have deals up for renewal, and are facing spirally heating costs. 

Schools in the north east of the country have recently received letters telling them to expect a 50 per cent increase in their energy costs this winter, as the region is on flexible tariffs.

The crisis has prompted the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) to warn the rise could “cripple already pressured [school] budgets”. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “The government needs to recognise this and ensure schools have the funding and resources they need to keep staff and students comfortable and safe.”

Elsewhere, the global supply chain problems had prompted warnings for Christmas shoppers to buy presents early, with Amazon planning to launch its Black Friday deals campaign on the earliest ever date of October 26.

Internal documents from the online retail giant, seen by The Independent, said it is planning to urge customers to get their festive shopping done in November to avoid problems in the global supply chain.

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