Humberside emergency services see fuel costs rise

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Emergency services across the Yorkshire and Humber region have reported an increase in their fuel costs.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has seen a £1.2m overspend on fuel since April last year.

The Trust had allocated £5.1m to purchase fuel in last year's budget, and was forced to draw on contingency funds to meet the increase.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said the rise was met "without affecting patient care".

Other emergency services are developing plans to deal with the additional cost including looking at more fuel efficient vehicles and training staff in "eco-driving" techniques.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief officer, Mark Rhodes, said: "We're looking at introducing different types of vehicles to respond to fires.

"For example, we are looking at what we call small fires units. And these are much more efficient, smaller vehicles with less impact on fuel usage."

The rise in fuel prices is blamed on an increase in the cost of crude oil which has dropped back from record highs recently, but retail prices remain high.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "The Government has taken decisive action to ease the burden of high fuel prices on motorists, cutting fuel duty, introducing a fair fuel stabiliser and deferring the planned inflation-only increase for 2011-12 to next year."

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