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Cheaper fuel for rural motorists planned

Thousands more ­motorists in rural parts of Scotland could benefit from cheaper fuel next year, the Coalition has indicated.

Ministers want to cut prices by 5p a litre at the pumps.

Earlier this year they announced plans to extend the discount, already active in island communities, to 10 remote mainland areas.

Information has now been received from another 42 filling stations across the UK, more than 20 of which are understood to be in Scotland.

Ministers plan to apply to the EU for permission to run the pilot scheme next month.

Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "The scheme for communities in remote areas across the United Kingdom shows the benefits we get from positive engagement at European level."

The deadline for ­information from remote fuel retailers has been extended to allow for areas affected by the recent severe weather.

Former LibDem leader Charles Kennedy welcomed the announcement which he said showed that "despite a lot of scepticism at home at a European level, when we engage positively and constructively with the European Commission — and do so punching our weight as the United Kingdom."

Three communities in England and seven in Scotland were initially judged to have met the strict criteria to qualify for the fuel discount, which has already been introduced in the Inner and Outer Hebrides and Scilly Isles.

There was controversy when the 10 areas where first announced as it emerged that eight of them were in constituencies represented by Liberal Democrat MPs.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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