Well, the great news is that while Woolacombe in north Deven gets a mention as THE most expensive petrol during January – April, beating even remote parts of Scotland, Bude does not make the top ten places in terms of high petrol prices. That said, it feels like it ought to, as it seems crazily expensive to fill up your tank at the moment.
However, as the article says, rural areas do tend to get hit hardest when oil prices rise and supply is controlled. Why? Well, there is the cost of transporting fuel to places that are out of the way, and there is also a marked lack of competition. Petrol stations do take advantage of isolation, and also the certainty of demand. Most of us notice the hike in prices during school holiday periods, for example. It all goes to make rural living very expensive. Everything is far away, and we have no decent rail/bus transport infrastructure, so cars are essential to do anything/go anywhere.
The BBC tells us that petrol prices rose by 6p a litre in May. Diesel costs even more. It is all due to high crude oil prices and a weak pound, apparently, a costly combination. Oil is traded in dollars; the pound is weak against the dollar. The article states: The RAC said the average prices of both petrol and diesel had risen every single day since 22 April, adding 8p a litre in the process.
Consumers are feeling the pinch. House prices seem to be dropping in some areas, while the cost of living is rising, such as higher energy bills. Lots of big-name companies are struggling! There are suggestions that oil prices may flatten for a while, but no immediate reduction in costs seems to be likely.
Options for more fuel-effective driving:
Cut out unnecessary journeys and walk/cycle more or use public transport (great if you can).
Try to combine small trips into one as a cold engine uses more fuel.
Close windows and sunroofs to reduce drag.
Don’t carry unnecessary weight like roof boxes.
Turn off the air-con
Don’t drive so fast!
Check your tyre pressures
As for me, I’ll sit at home today and work at my desk! Alas, every time I need a train that takes 120 miles return, but the petrol is at least slightly cheaper in Barnstaple/Bideford.