The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the acknowledgement by the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that the UK road transport industry faces unfair competition from continental haulage due to the higher levels of diesel duty which it pays and the prospect of the removal of restrictions to foreign lorries working in the UK.
FTA was responding to the publication of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on Freight Transport, published today (19 July).
FTA Director of External Affairs Geoff Dossetter said, 'The Committee has hit the bullseye when it says that it is unfair for UK hauliers to subsidise their continental competitors through high levels of taxation, eight years after the Government announced proposals to address the problem. Diesel duty for UK transport is 50p per litre compared with the EU average of just 25p per litre.
'Similarly we can only agree with the Committee when it says that it is 'astonished' that the Government has abandoned plans to charge foreign lorries on UK roads without offering any alternative.
'UK transport continues to face intense competition from foreign lorries working in the UK on cheap continental fuel and operating on safety standards which are not acceptable in the UK.'
FTA has also welcomed the Committee's recognition of the prospects for increasing out-of-hours deliveries following the introduction of improved vehicle technology and enhanced environmental protection schemes. FTA says delivering goods at night saves time and money and helps reduce daytime congestion.