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Three men in court after more than £1m fuel stolen

Three men have gone on trial in connection with a scam that saw fuel worth more than £1 million stolen from underground pipelines in the South East.

Maidstone Crown Court was told that there were several attacks on the pipelines, which carry fuel from refineries to customers and that fuel was then syphoned off and sold illegally.

Derek Johnson has our report.

Region's hauliers hit by rising fuel prices

Diesel is at its highest price in more than a year, new figures show. The average price for a litre of diesel reached £1.13 at the end of September, the RAC said. It has not been that high since 10 August last year. Petrol prices rose around half a pence last month to £1.12 per litre, just short of the highest price of the year. Matt Price reports


Are we reaping rewards of falling fuel prices?

Crude oil prices have dropped to under $30 a barrel, but are the tumbling prices being reflected on our filling station forecourts?

In Maidstone most garages are selling petrol at more than £1 a litre. Diesel is just below that figure.

Campaigners for fairer fuel prices say unscrupulous retailers aren't making cuts, but filling station owners say they're struggling to survive because of falling margins.

Chris Halpin reports.

Fuel could soon be cheaper than bottled water

Fuel may end up being cheaper than bottled water - if oil prices continue to plummet, according to motoring experts today.

Oil prices have dropped 30% since the start of December - and it's predicted that prices will continue to fall, with drivers paying just 86p per litre for fuel in the coming months. Rachel Hepworth reports

Cost of diesel in Meridian region goes up again

For almost 15 years, petrol was cheaper than diesel. But this summer, for two months only the cost of diesel at the pump dropped below its counterpart.

Now though, the price of unleaded has dropped again. And diesel is once more the more expensive fuel.

Andrew Pate went to find out why - and what it means for us motorists here in the South.

Birds die in oil spill

RSPCA inspectors have collected several birds caught in an oil spillage on the north Kent coast. The birds were found covered in thick, black sticky fuel oil. They include eight red throated divers, two of which had to be put to sleep to end their suffering, two guillemots and a dunlin which died.

All came from the Ramsgate harbour area except for one of the divers which was picked up in Rye harbour. They are being cared for by the RSPCA Mallydams Wildlife centre in Hastings.

RSPCA wildlife supervisor Richard Thompson said: “Birds like these, that are used to spending all their lives on the water, are difficult for us to manage but we have the expertise and will do our best for them.

The oil we are dealing with is very caustic and the two we have had to put to sleep had ingested a lot of it.

– Richard Thompson, RSPCA


Still busy at the pumps!

There'll be no fuel strike over Easter, but it's still busy at the pumps. Correspondent Andrew Pate reports from a service station in Totton, in Hampshire. Meanwhile, there's no diesel left at Fleet Services on the M3.

In Bicester, in Oxfordshire, there's only one station with all fuels available. Forecourts have been closed in parts of Dorset due to queueing motorists. And in Kent, the price of petrol and diesel has risen significantly.

RAC welcomes no strike news

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Many people will have been filling up to be ready for the long journeys they are planning over the Easter break.

"This news will be a great relief to all those who thought their holidays were going to be severely disrupted.

"It should give everyone breathing space and ease the pressure at the pumps. If, after the fiasco of the past few days, ministers still want to get involved in the dispute, there is plenty of time for them to help both sides reach a negotiated solution."