THE rising cost of fuel is forcing some businesses in Northumberland into 'survival mode'.

Government figures show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Monday was a record 175.6p, up 6.6p from 169.0p seven days earlier.

According to Petrol Map, the average latest prices in Northumberland on Wednesday was:

  • Corbridge -  185.2p/litre
  • Hexham - 187.9p/litre
  • Haltwhistle -177.9p/litre
  • Prudhoe - 171.4p/litre
  • Stocksfied -179.9p/litre
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne- 177.8p/litre

Zoe Philipson, owner of Tyne Valley Ices in Hexham said: "The increase in fuel for us has been scary.

"Hexham prices especially are unnecessarily high and the people who can make a difference should be stepping up and doing so

"Independent local business will be suffering due to the bigger fuel company’s perhaps profiteering and I just hope things get better soon."

Haltwhistle taxi business owner Stephen Sproul of Sproul Taxis also agrees that businesses just need to survive.

He said: "The prices are a rip off but there is nothing else we can do but try and survive.

"We feel like we have no support.

"It is a sad reality that we have to face these type of prices and that they are increasing every few days but we just have to try and cope."

Driving instructor Wendy Howes added: "They are crippling our sector of driving tuition. I've been trying not to put prices up, but as the price of diesel gets nearer £2 per litre I am having to.

"It affects rural areas so much more than cities. 

"Public transport companies will shield their users from the full cost and so people who have public transport will not be hit as hard as us."