Motorists across the UK are said to be "losing mobility" after record high fuel prices has seen sales plummet according to one of the UK’s biggest motoring groups.
Fuel sales have dropped by nearly 5%, the equivalent of 517 million litres in the first half of this year, compared with 2010. Due to this, the Treasury has lost nearly £1 billion of duty.
The UK government figures have also shown 1.7 billion fewer litres of petrol and diesel were sold than in the first half of 2008. The decline accelerated from nearly 4 per cent in January-March last year to 6.6 per cent in April-June.
In May, petrol and diesel prices broke the record barrier as petrol hit a high of 137.43p per litre, and diesel peaked to 143.04p a litre.
The supermarkets fared best, recording a 0.4% sales increase, but other forecourts were down by 11.4%.
A spokesman for a leading motoring organisation said: "There is no downplaying the impact of record fuel prices on families' and other people's lives. A 1.7 billion litre drop in petrol sales says just one thing - too many car owners cannot afford these record prices and are losing mobility as a consequence."
However, sustainable transport campaigners said motoring costs had risen less than public transport fares.
Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: "If there is an inequity that government should be tackling it is public transport prices, as these have risen substantially more in recent years than the price of car use."
By Ben Malkin
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