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Fuel prices have topped £2 a litre at a service station on the A1(M).

The BP garage at Moto Washington Services, in Birtley, Gateshead, was charging drivers 202.9p per litre for petrol and 204.9p per litre for diesel.

Although the site is BP branded, the pump prices are set by the service station operator Moto Hospitality.

A spokesperson for Moto Hospitality said the price included “several elements” including oil price and tax.

“We recognise fuel prices are higher than customers would like,” the spokesperson added.

They said wholesale oil prices had gone up by about 6% in the past week, and the company had held off passing the rise on to customers in recent days “in the hope that prices would dip”.

“However, no such price drop has occurred, and we have now had to start reflecting some, but not all of the increased wholesale costs in our forecourt prices,” they said.

‘Desperately worrying’

Paul Robinson, a Newcastle-based taxi driver, said fuel prices were “astronomical” at the moment and it was having a “massive effect” on his business.

“We’re paying too much, prices are going up on a daily basis, it might be 4p rise one day then a 6p increase the next,” he said.

“Our meters used to start at £2.40 now it’s £4.00 – and I’m scared that’s going to put people off using a taxi.”

Charlie Adams, from JR Adams Haulage which operates 50 vehicles from its depots in Gateshead and Newcastle, described the fuel hikes as “desperately worrying”.

Mr Adams – the fourth generation of his family in the haulage industry – said: “We’ve never had this situation before.

“We’re buying in diesel at up to £1.54 a litre and using about 30,000 litres a week and unless we top this up we’ll soon be running at a loss and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

“I honestly don’t know what can be done about it, without passing it on to the customers, who are of course worried about rising costs for everything else themselves.”

Reacting to the increasing prices at Moto Washington, Phil, said: “I have no idea where they dream it up from, it’s gone up from £1.99 per litre after staying at that price for about three weeks.

“Unfortunately the North East seems to be the dearest as far as I know.”

Fellow driver Steven branded the charges “absolutely disgraceful”.

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