Misery for Highland motorists as diesel surges to more than £2.20 a litre

The cost of diesel has topped more than £2.20 a litre at a Highland forecourt with concerns people will become cut off in rural areas due to the rising price of driving.

The petrol station at The Cluanie Inn, Glen Shiel was selling diesel for £2.217 a litre on Saturday.

Prices at the garage, which sits on the main Skye to Inverness road, hit £2.087 for unleaded, while across Scotland the average price of a litre of petrol was £1.83p.

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Community figures in the Highlands have warned the rocketing prices will leave people “cut off” as those who depend on their cars cannot afford to run them.

Motorists misery at 'crippling' fuel costs remote pump in Highlands Pic: Getty Images

Costs of filling up have soared due to rising wholesale fuel prices driven by the war in Ukraine.

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Ministers have been told “enough is enough” by AA president Edmund King after the average cost of filling a family car with petrol surged past £100 for the first time.

But staff at The Cluanie Inn said they had to pass on rising costs to customers in order to survive.

The forecourt at the Cluanie Inn, pictured here in April, is thought to be the most expensive in the UK with the owner having to pass on high costs of small orders to customers. PIC: Peter Jolly/Shutterstock.

One of the team said: “We just received a delivery and prices were high. We pay more to private suppliers than a big, branded station would. We buy smaller quantities for our tank so it costs more to transport it to us.

"Prices have always been high in the Highlands because smaller stations sell lower volumes of fuel, so covering our costs is much harder.

"We use a diesel generator to power the pumps and point of sale machine 24/7. So it costs to maintain the machine. We tried electricity before but there were problems.

“We are in the middle of nowhere.

“Now we see more people just fill up with the bare minimum or drive on to the nearest garage, about 20 minutes from here. But we don’t have a choice. We have to pass on the costs to customers to stay open.”

Councillor Margaret Paterson said she fears the elderly and those on lower incomes would be hardest hit by “crippling” fuel increases.

She said: “People rely on their cars to get everywhere, it's a lifeline. You can get shopping delivered but people need to get out of the house. We are hard hit by the price of filling up. It’s a major concern, especially for those who are elderly and live alone.

"I was speaking to an older man this week who is worried he will have to give up his car because he won't be able to afford to run it. All week he looks forward to coming into town because he can chat to folk at the mart. No doubt people’s mental health will suffer if they are forced to give up their cars. We all need that contact, especially as we are just coming out of the pandemic and able to do social things again.”

The Dingwall-based councillor added: "Those whose families are further away will suffer. Even those on a good wage struggle now but it's going to be devastating for those on lower incomes. I think prices are crippling and likely to keep going up. It will have a domino effect. It’s a big concern if it continues into the winter.”

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