PETROL prices yesterday hit their highest so far in 2009, according to the AA.

Businesses fear the rises could continue to rise as the busy Christmas season starts.

The cost has gone up because speculators are moving their money out of the weak US dollar and into hard assets like oil.

An AA spokesman told the Echo: “Prices have hit the highest so far. We are hoping that it’s just a blip.

“The UK average is just over 107p for a litre of petrol, and just over 108p for diesel.”

The Echo found a sample of Dorset prices ranged from around 105.9p to 108.9 for a litre of petrol.

Peter Jaffray, the sales and operations manager of Bournemouth airport based hauliers Shears Bros Transport said: “It’s a huge issue.

“Even though we buy in bulk, 30,000 litres plus, its still around about £1. That’s a lot of money and it appears to go up every quarter.

“If it carries on going up some companies won’t want to travel unless they have got a load coming back. Vehicles will end up sitting idle.”

The price of oil recently went above $80 for the first time this year.

The AA spokesman warned said: “As we move into greater recovery the stock markets can get excited and push the price of commodities even higher.”

However the cost is unlikely to reach the record highs of last year. The average petrol price in Bournemouth during hit 119.4p during. By December prices had plunged – Tesco in Branksome, Poole, was charging just 82.9p.

Carpet fitter Alistair Tomlinson from Swanage said yesterday: “I just have to pay it whatever the price is. I can’t do anything about it. But it costs about an extra £10 a week from when it went right down again.