MOTORISTS looking to get away or head into Bournemouth for the Easter break are facing petrol pump prices at their highest for five years.

In the past month alone, paying for a tank of petrol has shot up by more than £2.40, according to the latest AA Fuel Price Report.

The national average pump price for this Easter is 125.41p a litre for unleaded, and 131.97p a litre for diesel.

This compares to 121.03p and 130.32p, respectively, one month ago.

According to the AA it is supermarkets where motorists are able to purchase cheaper fuel, as oil company sites have rushed to pass on wholesale cost increases, opening up a 6.4p-a-litre gap on average between the two retailer types.

Yesterday, at Tesco Branksome, Poole, unleaded was priced at 122.9p a litre, with one litre of diesel costing 130.9p.

And unleaded was 123p a litre at Tesco Castle Lane East, with diesel selling for 130p a litre.

Meanwhile, the Texaco garage at Sandbanks had unleaded priced at 127.9p a litre and diesel at 133.9p a litre.

Poole driver Peter Wheeler said: "There is quite a difference between garages if you are willing to look around.

"But I have mates out in Purbeck, more isolated areas, and they are paying a lot more at the smaller, independent petrol stations."

Motorist Jenny Smithfield said: "We haven't heard about rising fuel rates for a while now, but like a lot of things at the moment, all attention is on Brexit so that may be the reason why.

"I hate the way you pay more on the motorways, it is like they can hold you to ransom."

According to the AA, motorway petrol cost as much as 145.9p a litre on Wednesday, more than 20p a litre or £10 a tank more expensive than the UK average.

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said: "A $10 jump in the price of oil since February and sudden drawdown of petrol stocks in the US, leading to a surge in the commodity price, has sent the Easter cost of petrol at UK pumps to its highest since 2014.

"This has been a shock to UK drivers which has almost wiped out the benefit of fuel efficiency savings from summer versus winter motoring.

"Worse still, it comes at a time when around 10 million workers will see their workplace pension contributions go up, on top of other inflationary pressures."

Mr Bosdet also said many travellers were being forced onto the roads this Easter because of railway closures, especially thousands of football fans.

He added: "Little wonder then that eight per cent fewer drivers say will take to the road this Easter, down from 26 million this last year to 24 million from Friday onwards.

"For the tourism industry, the surge in pump prices means visitors spending less – particularly if they are paying £10 a tank more for their petrol at so many motorway service stations."


Shell, Barrack Road, Christchurch

Unleaded 128p a litre; diesel 135p a litre

Esso, Barrack Road, Christchurch

Unleaded 128p a litre; diesel 133p a litre

Esso, Ashley Road, Poole

Unleaded 123.9 a litre; diesel 130.9p a litre

Murco, Fairmile Road, Christchurch

Unleaded 126.9 a litre; diesel 131.9 a litre