Monday, November 23, 2009

Road Haulage Association Condemns UK Fuel Costs

“Absolutely Ridiculous Situation” – RHA Chief
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has attacked the cost of petrol and diesel in the UK, stating that the continuing escalations in costs are seriously threatening the recovery in the British economy.

The RHA states that fuel prices are now at their highest levels this year, pointing out that in some parts of the UK the price of fuel has increased by more than 5 pence a litre in the last month alone.

With VAT due to rise from 15% to 17.5% on the 1st of January, the RHA is warning that such extra financial burdens could critically undermine attempts to kick start economic recovery.

The RHA’s Chief Executive, Geoff Dunning, said that: “Last month we saw the barrel price fall following concerns that a slowdown in the global economy would dent demand. Today, we are seeing oil tankers anchored off our coastline playing a waiting game. They will unload their cargo only when the price of crude begins to rise.

“This seems to be an absolutely ridiculous situation, bearing in mind the last time the price of diesel was this high, the price of a barrel stood $20 dollars higher than it is today.

“If the UK is to stand any chance of seeing signs of an economic recovery in the near future we need to see action NOW. To that end the haulage industry must do all it can to at least postpone the fuel duty increase planned for Spring 2010. UK road hauliers are already operating within the tightest possible margins, they desperately need to be cut some slack.

“Fuel duty increases affect every single member of society. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the materials for the homes we live in arrive by truck. Not only will any increase in fuel duty at this critical time come as a severe blow to this vital industry, the inevitable knock on effect will be to hit already hard-pressed families even harder.”

The average price of diesel across the UK is currently just over £5 for a gallon.