What can be done to get prices down at the pumps?

Families and businesses are feeling the pinch when it comes to recent petrol price hikes.

Families and businesses are feeling the pinch when it comes to recent petrol price hikes. - Credit: Archant

People in Norwich can no longer afford to get their cars off the drive, with some even looking to sell their motors, as petrol prices sore close to 190p per litre.

Across the city petrol is averaging more than 181p per litre while experts expect the worrying upward trend to continue.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the "frightening" prices warranted immediate action.

He said: “The average cost of a litre of unleaded is now a frightening 177.88p, while diesel is 185p, an increase of 2p already this month."

Julia Greaves, 66 - Elm Hill

Julia Greaves, 66, from Elm Hill. - Credit: Archant

Julia Greaves, from Elm Hill, is thinking of ditching the car, saying: "It only does 20 miles to the gallon - it's just not sustainable.

"It makes people think much more about whether they go out or not - especially those on a limited budget."

And city bosses are also feeling the pain of the price spike with some fearing for the future. 

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One haulage firm based on the outskirts of Norwich has seen prices increase by 50pc in the last 12 months.

Louis Warnes, owner of Warnes Freight in Horsbeck Way, said: "With fuel representing 35pc of our expenditure it's a key area of focus.  

"We have had to mitigate this and other increases for consumables such as oil and motor parts by raising prices to our customers."  

The company has 20 lorries in its fleet, consisting of both 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes, which cost roughly £2,600 per day to fill up altogether.

Louis Warnes, owner of Warnes Freight in Horsbeck Way.

Louis Warnes, owner of Warnes Freight, in Horsbeck Way. - Credit: Louis Warnes

Mr Warnes added: "Price increases have been unavoidable and will continue if the government doesn't step in.

"Further increases will continue to impact all industries who rely upon road haulage to deliver their goods."

Another haulage firm says they spend almost £30,000 every two weeks to fill up their 40-strong fleet.

Matthew Mark, at Fitzmaurice Carriers, in Salhouse Road, said: "We order in bulk but at 18,000 litres every two weeks we've definitely noticed the prices going up.

"We noticed that about six months ago it was 20p per litre less - I can't see it stopping anytime soon which is a worry."

Warnes Freight, says it has seen petrol prices increase by 50pc in the last 12 months.

Warnes Freight, says it has seen petrol prices increase by 50pc in the last 12 months. - Credit: Louis Warnes

And bosses at taxi ranks are being forced to navigate a balancing act between paying the bills by hiking prices and putting customers of altogether.

John Walker, director of Enterprise Taxis in Taverham Road, said: "We've got 70 taxis in our fleet and every one of my guys is feeling the increase.

"It's costing them about £100 each time they fill up every few days.

"We had to increase our prices by 12pc to try and accommodate for this.

"It's going to have a knock-on effect going forward - it has to.

"It's frustrating because while petrol prices continue to rise if we raise our prices people won't use us.

"It's absolutely bonkers what's happening at the moment."

Moira Shreeve, 67, from Blofield Norwich.

Moira Shreeve, 67, from Blofield Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile the high street could also begin to see impact of soaring costs.

Moira Shreeve, from Blofield, said it costs around £75 to fill up their car which affects whether a day out to the Norfolk coast happens or not.

The 67-year-old said: "You certainly notice it - I think it's really worrying because it affects everything you do.

"Whether you go out for a meal, for a day out, or just for your weekly shop."

Financial experts believes people will need to make smarter decisions and think differently around travel.

Richard Ross, director of Chadwicks Limited.

Richard Ross, director of Chadwicks - Credit: Richard Ross

Richard Ross, director of Chadwicks, said: "This rise is going to hit people hard and make them think more carefully about their commute.

"People may need to think about other ways to travel - like public transport.

"It may be time to start treating petrol as a more precious commodity and be smarter about how fuel is used."

With such eye-watering prices at the forefront it may cause the government to look at the country's electric infrastructure more - whereas the public could start looking at travelling on two wheels instead of four.

Mr Ross added: "There's always an alternative whether that's cycling or car sharing."