Saturday, October 20, 2012

UK Road Haulage Update - Diesel in Parliament and New Motorway Facility for Freight Vehicles

Fuel Initiative to Clarify Fuel Cost Basis and Long Awaited Truck Stop
Shipping News Feature

UK – Two important pieces of news this past week courtesy of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), one of them relevant to all who have an interest in road carried freight – and that of course means everybody from operators to consumers. Robert Halfon, Tory MP for Harlow is preparing to table a Private Members Bill with the intention of making fuel pricing more transparent. Mr Halfon wants all fuel receipts to show precisely how the bottom line is constructed separating fuel duty as well as VAT to illustrate exactly who is taking what from the motorist’s pocket. Whilst putting down his motion for leave to introduce the Bill Mr Halfon said:

“The principle of the Bill is very simple, that taxes should be clear to the people who pay them. At the moment, they are not. (The Government) is putting on to the internet information on Whitehall spending, as well as on ministerial meetings and procurement contracts and giving taxpayers a statement of where their tax goes, these are important steps towards transparency.

“Why not do that for fuel duty as well? After all, this Government believe in cheaper petrol. Ministers have done more to cut fuel duty in two years than the previous Government managed in thirteen. Petrol is now 10p cheaper than planned in Labour’s last Budget, but the problem is that fuel duty is still a stealth tax. There should also be some mention of how much of that tax is spent on our roads.”

The MP continued on to say how originally fuel duty was a tax ring fenced to pay only for road improvements but had been subsumed into just another general tax. By 2008 only 20% of revenue raised I n this way was actually spent on roads and fuel duty now stands at £0.58p, with an additional 20% VAT on top—an increase of more than 1,000%. RHA spokesperson Kate Gibbs, commented:

“This initiative will serve as a real wake up call to all users of road fuels; petrol or diesel. Filling the tank, regardless of size, has always been costly. If the cost of the fuel duty and the VAT is clearly shown on the receipt, it will make users far more aware of just where their money is going. This is a move that could benefit the economy in general and the road haulage sector in particular as customers will see that they are getting the best possible rate for the job.

“The price of fuel has become a wide reaching political issue; it affects everyone and if this move for transparency goes ahead, fuel pricing has the potential to become a real vote winner, or indeed vote loser”.

The other piece of news which will affect thousands of truckers who daily use the arterial routes between the North and South of the country is that finally plans to construct a new £5 million, state-of-the-art truck stop at Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire have received the official go-ahead.

Exelby Services submitted plans to move from its current site at nearby Londonderry because the A1 upgrade has meant trucks have to travel down the A1(M) service road to reach it. The new truck stop will be adjacent to both the new Leeming Junction on the A1(M) and the Leeming Bar Industrial Estate. RHA Manager for Infrastructure, Chrys Rampley, was delighted by the announcement saying:

“This is excellent news, the RHA has lent its support to Michael Exelby and has been working with him in his bid to build this new truck stop and I am delighted that the urgent need for such a facility has now been recognised. It has been a long and difficult process but we have got there in the end. This is a good result for the road haulage community”.

Photo: Michael Exelby (seated) backed by his father and founder of the business Ron.