The government is under intense pressure from the fuel and motoring industies to tackle fuel duty and soaring fuel prices, as diesel hit a record high last month.

The AA has written to Chancellor George Osborne calling for an investigation of the oil, refining, fuel product and retail markets to ensure UK families and businesses are protected from over-inflated prices and supply difficulties.

Echoing calls from RMI Petrol, the AA has also called for an end to annual fuel duty hikes while the economy falters, including cancellation of the planned rise in August.

AA president Edmund King said the impact of record diesel prices will be felt by everyone as higher transport costs are passed on to business and consumers. "With some delivery and haulage firms adding a diesel surcharge to invoices, costs will rise faster than most people expect and stoke inflation again," he said.

The average price of diesel in the UK has overtaken the record set in May last year, hitting 143.05ppl. Since peaking at 143.04ppl on May 5 last year, the pump price of diesel fell back to 137.59p in July before starting to climb again. Two years ago, diesel in the UK averaged 113.62ppl.

Over the same period, the average price of petrol was 112.03ppl and set a new record of 137.43ppl on May 5, 2011. Since then, it fell to 132.25ppl at the turn of the New Year before starting the climb to the latest average of 135. 39ppl.

RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson has said the coming March Budget is the ideal opportunity for the Chancellor to cut the rate of duty on fuel, as he did last year. "It’s all very well for the government and the Bank of England to declare that the Consumer Price Index is heading down, but try telling that to our cash-strapped retailers and to the millions of motorists, truckers and van drivers now paying an average 143.05ppl for their diesel," he said. "We are seeing run-away inflation for diesel, and petrol is little better."