Commuters in rural areas pay over 40% more a month than their urban counterparts to get to and from their work, according to new research.

The Countryside Alliance published its research as it backed Labour's move to force a House of Commons vote, calling for a planned 3p hike in fuel duty due in January to be delayed.

Motorists in rural areas in Scotland were not only travelling further, but were also burning more expensive fuel.

The report revealed they paid £22.49 (41%) more on fuel for their commute than people living in urban areas and predicted that another rise in fuel duty will threaten the viability of rural businesses and communities.

The top 10 councils for the cheapest monthly fuel costs are all classed as urban, with residents of the City of London and Aberdeen paying on average under £30 a month in fuel costs.

Jamie Stewart, the group's Scottish director, said: "Quite simply, people living in rural areas need their car to get to work and access basic services. If there is a rise in petrol prices the burden weighs far heavier on rural people, for whom cars are a necessity due to the lack of public transport options."