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  1. ITV Report

Fuel prices set to fall in rural areas

This garage in Thropton in Northumberland has one of the highest fuel prices in the country. Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

Garages in rural areas say they are struggling to survive as the gap in petrol prices in the cities and countryside widens.

In Billingham on Teesside, the price of petrol is down to 103p a litre. But 44 miles away in Hawes in North Yorkshire, drivers are paying 117p a litre.

And one petrol station in Thropton, Northumberland, is one of the most expensive places in the country to buy fuel, with a litre of unleaded costing 154p.

The owner told ITV News Tyne Tees that the price is due to the costs of getting petrol to the pumps, but promised customers the price will come down next week.

Some motorists are angry, and feel they're being penalised for living in rural areas, but the garages say there's little alternative.

Ian Bow, who runs Dalehead Garage in Hawes, said: "We'll buy fuel before Christmas and won't sell it until the end of January which means we're having to buy it at a higher price, and it's dropped that quick that we're now even further out of the price.

"The additional price we have to charge is because the turnover is that slow, especially at this time of year but all year round.

"Compared to the supermarkets, we'll be turning over a minuscule amount of fuel."

But petrol stations in some of these most remote areas could soon claim back up to five pence per litre of tax.

The government wants to bring down fuel prices in the areas around Hawes in North Yorkshire but the plans still need European Council approval.

Correspondent Gregg Easteal has this special report.