Calls are being made for motorists in north and mid Wales to be given extra help at the petrol pump by extending a rural fuel duty relief scheme.
Liz Saville Roberts, MP, has raised the issue in the House of Commons and called on the Treasury to extend the scheme which cuts the cost of fuel for motorists in parts of rural England and Scotland, including the Highlands, Northumberland, Cumbria, Devon and North Yorkshire.
The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP’s call comes as the government launch a scheme where drivers will be able to search for cheaper fuel prices, designed to stop retailers overcharging them at the pump.
Plaid Cymru has long campaigned for the rural fuel duty scheme to be extended to Wales – which is the most car dependent nation in the UK, due to poor public transport investment.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs Saville Roberts said: "Patchy public transport contributes to high costs to rural households as many people have no choice but to use their cars for essential journeys. Despite this, the Rural Fuel Duty Relief scheme does not apply to a single area of Wales."Will the Minister commit to pressuring the Treasury to reconfigure the scheme to take into account access to local public transport networks as well as providing a guarantee of inclusion for Welsh areas.
The MP added: "Starved of public transport investment, Wales is the most car dependent nation in the UK. We are therefore disproportionately affected by higher prices.’
"Rural regions of Scotland and England with high levels of car dependency are eligible for the rural fuel duty relief. Yet Wales is not. We need tailored support to provide relief from rising off-grid energy bills and fuel prices.’
"Fuel costs are causing serious problems for workers in car-dependent rural areas such as Dwyfor Meirionnydd. It is crucial that the UK Government takes every possible step to mitigate the impact on those most exposed to high prices."