Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that government ministers are currently planning to ensure that fuel prices hit £2 per litre for both diesel and petrol, with the promise that this will lead to fewer and fewer people using their cars for everyday journeys. Certain vehicles will be exempt from the sky-high prices, but the majority of motorists will be subjected to the higher rates of tax at the pumps.

A South Essex senior minister, who cannot be named for editorial reasons, spoke to a Southend News Network reporter earlier today to explain why the 100% price hike will be applied to all petrol stations between Shoeburyness, Thurrock and Chelmsford. He said: ‘Recent research has revealed that there is a new hole in the ozone layer that is directly above the south of Essex, and we have scientific proof that this hole has appeared due to Southend, Basildon and Castle Point motorists driving more and more as fuel has fallen below £1 per litre. By doubling the cost of fuel on a local level, something that has never been done before, we believe that the number of car journeys will fall by 88% overnight. The national government will continue to receive the same amount of fuel duty in every transaction, and the extra £1 or so on top per litre will go directly towards environmental good causes in South Essex.’

We pressed the minister for more information about what these ‘environmental good causes’ may be. He said: ‘As this policy is yet to be voted upon, we cannot release any further details at this time. However, South Essex residents and business can rest assured that these measures will eradicate the terrifying hole in the ozone layer directly above the area by 2025. If one in five Land Rover owners in Leigh-On-Sea swap their car for a Toyota Prius, we may even achieve this goal by 2023.’

Local supermarkets have secretly been preparing for the South Essex fuel price hike by ordering extra-long price boards for their forecourts, and a garage owner in Wickford (who didn’t want to be named) welcomed the announcement. He said: ‘We all know that people need to use their cars whatever the price of fuel may be, so I may even add 20p on top of the new prices so that I can do my bit to tackle this hole in the ozone layer – all of the other garages will follow suit anyway. People may want to accuse us of profiteering, but we are merely tenants on Mother Earth and everyone has a duty to take care of it.’