The cheapest places in the UK and world for petrol
Petrol prices vary wildly from region to region and country to country, so where’s cheapest?
The bank holiday is an opportunity for people to head out of (or into) town and visit friends, relatives – or even jet overseas for a short break.
But those driving in the UK will not just encounter a change of scenery, but a large difference in the cost of filling up the car.
Figures from Santander show there’s a 16.2p a litre difference in the petrol prices paid by Brits in different parts of the country, meaning filling up could cost you £10 more (or less) depending on where you go.
Where’s cheapest then?
Looking at credit card data, Santander compared the prices paid for unleaded at petrol stations across the country – the cheapest region to fill up in was Grampian in Scotland with an average petrol price of 129.7 pence a litre.
Outside of Scotland, Denbighshire in Wales has the cheapest price per litre of 130.9p.
Regionally, north-west England was cheapest at an average of 131.9 pence per litre of premium unleaded fuel.
Where to avoid
As well as the cheapest place to fill up in Britain, Scotland is also home to the most expensive – with a litre of unleaded the Shetland Islands costing 145.9p on average, more than anywhere else.
After the Shetland Islands, Humberside was the next costliest place to fill up, where petrol costs 137.9p a litre. That high price helped push Yorkshire and Humberside to the top of the most expensive region table.
Average petrol costs by region
Yorkshire & Humberside
133.4 pence per litre
133.2 pence per litre
133.1 pence per litre
133.0 pence per litre
132.8 pence per litre
132.8 pence per litre
132.5 pence per litre
132.3 pence per litre
East of England
132.3 pence per litre
132.2 pence per litre
132.1 pence per litre
131.9 pence per litre
[Related feature: The real reason UK petrol prices are so high]
The savings available to people in different countries dwarf those available to people in different parts of the UK.
New research from car dealers Evans Halshaw shows Venezuela is the cheapest country to by petrol in for the second year running.
At just 8p a litre, the South American state has a bigger petrol smuggling trade than a drug smuggling one – especially given that residents of neighbouring nation Columbia pay more than 40 times as much for their fuel.
After Venezuela, Egypt (9p a litre), Saudi Arabia (10p a litre), Qatar (12p a litre) and Bahrain (15p a litre) are the cheapest countries to but petrol in.
By contrast, Norway was found to be the most expensive country to fill up in – with petrol costing an astonishing 1.64p a litre in the Scandinavian state.
Turkey (£1.62 a litre), the Netherlands (£1.48 a litre), Italy (£1.46 a litre) and Greece (£1.45 a litre) were the next most expensive.
[Related feature: The countries where petrol costs the most]
The 10 cheapest countries to buy petrol
Australia surfer bitten in half by shark
A surfer was bitten in half in a savage shark attack off Australia’s west coast Saturday, witnesses and officials said, the fifth such fatality in the region in less than a year.
An eyewitness explains how the shark also attempted to attack him.
The man was surfing near Wedge Island, north of Perth, on Saturday morning with a friend when he was mauled by the shark, suffering severe and extensive injuries.
A man jet-skiing near the surfers said it was a gruesome scene, with "half a torso" all that remained of the victim.
"There was just blood everywhere and a massive, massive (great) white shark circling the body," he told ABC television, estimating the fish was four or five metres (13 to 16 feet) long.
"I reached to grab the body and the shark came at me on the jet-ski and tried to knock me off. I did another loop and when I came back to the body the shark took it."
Made infamous by the horror movie "Jaws", great whites are among the largest shark species in the world and can grow up to six metres long (20 feet) and weigh up to two tonnes.
Beach patrol officials confirmed that the attack was fatal, and a large-scale air, coast and sea search was underway for the remains of the victim, who was reported to be in his early 20s.
A police spokesman told AFP: "At this stage no remains have been located."
All beaches in the area were closed until further notice, and fisheries were hunting the shark in order to kill it.
"We’ll go right through to nightfall tonight, we will then resume that tomorrow morning and make some decisions tomorrow," a fisheries spokesman said.
It was the fifth fatal shark incident off Western Australia since September — an unprecedented spate of attacks that sparked calls earlier this year for a cull.
Local marine scientists have described Australia’s west coast as the deadliest shark attack zone in the world, and a tagging and tracking programme has been launched in a bid to limit fatalities.
A sea kayaker narrowly escaped the jaws of a great white last month, with a friend managing to pluck him from the water after he was rammed by one of the marine predators off Perth’s Mullaloo Beach.
That attack came just hours after another great white, thought to be five metres long, lunged from the water at a crab fisherman at a dive park south of Perth.
Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.
Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.
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Weather alert as deluge expected
More than a month’s rain is expected to fall over just two days in parts of the UK this week.
A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, with fears of flooding and disruption on Friday and Saturday.
Central and northern England is expected to be worst affected, with an amber alert – the second most severe category that can be given – in place for north-east England.
Up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain could fall in 36 hours during the downpours. The average UK rainfall for July is 69.9mm (2.8 inches), and 64.4mm (2.5 inches) for the north of England.
Met Office chief forecaster Martin Young said: "We are expecting outbreaks of heavy rain across a wide area of the UK, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.
"Rainfall totals could be 40-60mm (1.6-2.4 inches) widely across warning areas, but some places could see up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain through Friday and into Saturday.
"Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas."
People living in the affected areas have been warned to be prepared for flooding.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Heavy rain on Friday and Saturday may lead to significant flooding of properties across parts of northern England. We urge people to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding by checking the Environment Agency website and signing up for localised river flood warnings."
Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. Provisional figures from the Met Office showed the UK received 145.3mm (5.7 inches) during June, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4 inches) in June 2007.
Cool of the wild: From sunhats to ice-cream, how animals around the world have taken tips from us to cope with the hot weather
By Nick Enoch
An ice lolly, a dip in the pool, deckchairs… when it comes to cooling off in the hot weather, these animals don’t play by the rules.
As Britain enjoys a heatwave, with the mercury hitting 27c (81f) today, these are just some of the cunning ways our furry friends cope.
And as the pictures below show, it’s not just those here who are feeling the heat – from China to Germany, Indonesia to the U.S., animals are scoffing at what they’ve seen in nature documentaries and trying something a little bit different…
Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for a sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain
Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica
One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World; right, a squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire
I’ve got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice
Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool; right, Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire
Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts
Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan; right, Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon
Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas
Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre, China; right, a meerkat at Marwell Wildlife Conservation Park, Hants
To hell with the diet… An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia
Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire; right, a fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island
White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany
Trunks, glasses and parasol…this pooch looks good – and he knows it
I’ll be finished in about nine hours… A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo
Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts
Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire
It’s bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll’s house deckchair
Amazing ‘tsunami cloud’ hits Florida coastline
At first glance, it looks as though a tsunami wave is about to crash into a swathe of high-rise tower blocks.
But for beachgoers and surfers alike along Panama City Beach, Florida, there was no need to panic, the giant wave was just an curious illusion caused by harmless sea fog rolling off the Gulf of Mexico.
The tsunami-like clouds are just a harmless weather phenomenon.
So what’s the science behind the captivating photograph taken from a helicopter earlier this month?
This ‘tsunami cloud’ effect is believed to be caused by a phenomenon known as the ‘Kelvin–Helmholtz instability’ that can occur in both air and water.
This is when a fast-moving layer of fluid or air washes over a slower, thicker layer – creating the wispy wave effect.
According to helicopter pilot JR Hott, the clouds appear a few times a year but normally further down the coast.
Mr Hott wrote: "When the temperature, humidity and winds are just right, we’ll get this fog that forms on the high rise condos on the beach.”
He added: “The event, while it can form quickly, moves gently and slowly. It isn’t something that happens with more than a gentle breeze.”
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Costa Concordia cruise tragedy in photos Photos | Costa Concordia cruise tragedy in photos Pictures – Yahoo!
Investigators approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which leans on its starboard side after running aground in the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday.
Thomas Cook jet seconds from disaster after captain miscalculates weight and takes off at the wrong speed
Thomas Cook jet with 223 on board just seconds from disaster after pilot underestimates its weight by 17 TONS and isn’t fast enough to get off the ground
- Captain miscalculates weight of aircraft by 17 tonnes
A holiday flight with 223 passengers on board narrowly avoided disaster after the captain miscalculated its weight by 17 tonnes, an accident report revealed today.
The Airbus A321, operated by Thomas Cook, was due to fly from Manchester airport to Heraklion in Crete when its co-pilot who was tasked with flying the plane asked for its take-off weight – and received the wrong figure from the pilot.
As a consequence the aircraft took off without enough thrust or speed which could have caused the pilot to lose control, endangering all those on board.
Dangerous: The Airbus A321-211 was programmed to take off at the wrong speed after the captain made an error
Luckily, the co-pilot noticed that something was wrong, and made adjustments which averted disaster.
The report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the incident took place on the morning of April 29 this year – the day of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Describing the incident as ‘serious’, the report said the captain had accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board.
Miscalculation: The captain of the Thomas Cook flight accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board (file picture)
The flight management system was then programmed ‘with the incorrect speeds’.
The report went on: ‘The aircraft took off using less thrust and lower speed than were required.’
When the feel of the aircraft and the displays on the speed scale alerted the pilot to the problem he ‘responded by reducing the pitch attitude, which allowed the aircraft to accelerate to a safe climb speed’, said the report.
The AAIB said there were ‘a number of errors that occurred’, firstly because the captain read out the wrong number and afterwards when staff missed chances to detect the error.
Manchester Airport, where the incident took place
Shockingly, today’s report indicated that potentially dangerous mistakes are common before take-off, and go unreported across the industry.
It said there have been ‘a significant number of reported incidents and several accidents resulting from errors in take-off performance calculations around the world in recent years’.
‘There must also have been many similar events which were either unreported and/or unnoticed, some of which will have had the potential to cause accidents,’ it added.
Commenting on the report, Thomas Cook Airlines maintained that: ‘On recognising the error, the captain immediately amended the flight path to ensure the aircraft climbed safely away. No impact whatsoever was felt by the passengers.’
Thomas Cook has also hit headlines recently for its precarious financial situation. The second biggest tour operator in Europe was forced to ask its banks for an extra £100m loan to deal with its spiralling debt, totalling nearly £1billion.
Fears that the 170-year-old company was on the brink of collapse caused its share-price to plummet up to 75 per cent in one day as rumours circulated that the company was set to close 200 shops and axe 1,000 jobs to reduce its debt mountain.
The company, which has delayed releasing its end of year results due to its negotiations with the banks, is reportedly also set to cut its fleet of aircraft as another cost-cutting measure.
Unrest caused by the Arab Spring – especially in Egypt and Tunisia – and the ongoing eurozone crisis have been blamed for poor bookings this year, but the company has rushed to reassure travellers that their holidays are secure.
Following the crash in share price two weeks ago, Thomas Cook’s interim chief executive Sam Weihagen published a letter in national newspapers saying it is safe to book breaks with the group.
Mr Weihagen’s letter began: ‘What a week it has been for Thomas Cook,’ adding that it is now ‘an even stronger and more confident company’ and members of the public ‘can be sure that your holiday really is in safe hands’.
Air travel myths debunked
From the consequences of using your mobile during a flight to crossing the Bermuda Triangle, we straighten out some of the most common air travel myths…
MYTH 1: The recycled air in an aeroplane cabin quickly spreads germs and sickness – FALSE
Air circulates in an aeroplane cabin approximately every three to five minutes. For that reason, some concerned travellers believe that this constantly cycles germs through the air supply and fosters sickness. However, aeroplanes use sophisticated HEPA filters designed to extract 99.5 per cent of germs and viruses from the air, whilst studies have even shown that the air filters can remove SARS and bird flu germs, potentially making it cleaner than the stuff you breathe on the ground.
MYTH 2: Flights still do not cross the Bermuda Triangle – FALSE
It’s surprising how many people still believe in the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, but the truth is: planes fly over the Bermuda Triangle every single day. It’s a major flight route from Florida to Bermuda and the Bahamas. The legend started decades ago when a researcher outlined an area he was studying regarding lost vessels and aircraft. Nothing came of it until the research was again unearthed in the late 60s/early 70s. It was given the moniker "The Bermuda Triangle" and the legend became an overnight sensation. Many disappearances have been explained in purely logical terms and flights continue over the region several times a day. So you can rest assured, Bermuda is firmly on the travel agenda.
MYTH 3: The cost of fares doesn’t differ depending on which day of the week you book – FALSE
The difference in cost between flights booked at the weekend and those booked on a weekday can be quite significant, not to mention the impact of the day you choose to travel. Looking at historical data the flight experts at Fly.com suggest that booking flights on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday will usually net you a far better fare, whilst arranging to travel on a Tuesday, Thursday or a Saturday is also likely to make your flight costs more affordable.
MYTH 4: You can open the door on a commercial jet mid-flight – FALSE
There have been a number of stories in the media of late highlighting passengers’ attempts to open the emergency door at altitude; an idea that has left many nervous travellers panic stricken. This is in fact impossible. Why? Because the door is designed to open inwards before opening outwards, and the pressure differential between the cabin and the outside air at altitude prevents this required inward motion; the door is in fact sealed tighter, the higher the plane goes. So passengers can rest assured, no matter how hard you try, that door is not going to open until you’re firmly on the ground.
MYTH 5: Forget the brace position, if the plane crashes, you’re doomed – FALSE
The idea of a plane crash is enough to perturb even the most seasoned traveller, but contrary to popular belief, when the US Government’s National Transportation Safety Board studied accidents over 20 years they recorded a survival rate of over 95 per cent. What’s more, the chances of dying on your next flight are calculated to be one in 60 million, making air travel hundreds of times safer than travelling by car. In fact, on this basis you could fly every day for the next 160,000 years and enjoy the peanuts without a problem.
MYTH 6: Electronic devices interfere with a plane’s navigational system – FALSE
It is widely believed that mobile phones could adversely affect the navigational instruments in an aeroplane’s cockpit; however there is currently no credible evidence that links electronic devices with interference. Aeroplanes are specially insulated against foreign radio signals, and their communication and navigation instruments operate on different frequencies from mobile phones, meaning that phone signals are unlikely to interfere with the plane’s satnav. The ban is actually in place to prevent communication problems on the ground. If someone makes a phone call from a plane, the signal would bounce across multiple signal towers at once, which could prevent other calls from going through. It’s still a hotly debated topic with many suggesting airlines only support the ban in order to increase the use of expensive in-flight ‘air phones’. For now, relax and enjoy the in-flight peace and quiet.
MYTH 7: Cheap flights are helping less wealthy people travel – FALSE
It’s a nice idea but there’s little truth in it. It’s actually the wealthiest people who are benefiting from the growth in air travel. Of those who use budget airlines, 75 per cent are in social classes A, B and C, whilst people with second homes abroad take an average of six return flights with the airlines every year. Interestingly, despite making up over a quarter of the population, low income households took just 6 per cent of the flights recorded from London airports last year. Meanwhile, the top quarter of the population took almost half of all flights. It seems that, while air travel has been getting progressively cheaper over the last decade, there’s still a long way to go before it is accessible to all.
MYTH 8: You are likely to get drunk quicker on an aeroplane – FALSE
According to an old saying, one in the air is like three on the ground. That adage isn’t strictly true; it’s your blood alcohol level that determines levels of intoxication and this is not affected in any way by altitude. However, with less oxygen reaching the brain because of the high altitude and the pressurised cabin, it might cause passengers to feel more inebriated, but that’s about it. Either way, we wouldn’t advise drinking excessively onboard, if only out of courtesy to your neighbours.
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