Industry forced to find extra £1.3bn to fill fuel tanks, says FTA 04 August 2011

Road freight operators have had to find an additional £1.3 billion over a 12-month period just to cover the rising cost of fuel, figures from the FTA's Cost Information Service show.

The Freight Transport Association says that the 12p per litre rise in the cost of diesel – from 99.29ppl in July 2010 to 111.21ppl now – has caused typical annual costs of fuelling just one 44 tonne truck to rise by £5,700.

The situation could have been worse, says James Hookham, FTA's managing director of policy and communications. Back in March, FTA and its partners in the Fair Fuel UK campaign won some breathing space for hauliers by influencing the government's decision to defer the planned one penny above inflation fuel duty hike.

Coupled with a further reduction in fuel duty of 1ppl, this industry-wide lobbying effort saved the logistics sector around £625 million in tax alone.

"Times are very tough right now, with rising oil costs and limited cash flow conspiring to make survival, rather than growth the number one priority for many businesses operating trucks," comments Hookham.

"Diesel is not an optional extra for commercial vehicle operators and the result of more fuel tax rises will be either destruction of companies or increased prices for customers, ultimately fuelling inflation," he adds.

"Government could help by deferring the duty increases planned for January and making further cuts in duty rates now. It wants to know what it can do to help growth in the economy – here is our number one ask."

Brian Tinham

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Freight Transport Association Ltd

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