Fuel prices still crippling industry, says FTA

15th June 2012

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has reiterated its concerns that the price of fuel in the UK is having a damaging effect on heavy goods vehicle operating costs and the freight industry as a whole.

It comes as new research conducted by the group highlighted the fact that these expenses have reached an all-time high, with the price of petrol acting as the main contributor to a potentially industry-crippling problem.

According to the FTA figures, between April 2011 and April 2012, increases to the price of diesel saw the costs associated with running an average 44 tonne articulated vehicle soar by around £1,900 per year.

At present, UK operators have to deal with a duty of 57.95 pence per litre, compared with the average of just 24 pence per litre witnessed in the rest of Europe.

This puts these firms at a serious disadvantage to their foreign counterparts.

The group's chief economist Simon Chapman also revealed that fuel represents around 40 per cent of annual operating costs compared with the ratio of just a third that was reported three years ago.

He warned that this has seen many struggle to balance finances.

"Whilst operating costs have now reached an all-time high, hauliers face pressure from customers not to raise their haulage rates and are seeing overall levels of activity fall as the economy slides back into recession," Mr Chapman said.

The FTA is calling for a modest three pence per litre cut in duty.

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