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Lorry operators welcome budget fuel freeze

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the Chancellor's Budget statement that he will defer an increase in fuel duty on diesel until October 2007, and then increase fuel duty by 2p per litre in 2008 and by 1.8p per litre in 2009. These figures are in line with inflation. Setting these rates for three years will assist the transport industry in budgeting for future operational costs – important bearing in mind that fuel represents 30 per cent of lorry operating costs.

FTA also welcomes the Chancellor's announcement that he will be tripling the funding for the enforcement of regulations designed to reduce offences by foreign lorries working in the UK. This was a key demand by industry within the Haulage Industry Task Group, formed last year to consider the impact of foreign haulage competition on the UK domestic industry.

FTA External Affairs Director, Geoff Dossetter said, 'One in seven of the heaviest vehicles on UK roads now come from overseas. Regrettably the operational safety record of many of these vehicles gives cause for concern in terms of their roadworthiness, overloading and the hours worked by their drivers. Additional funding for enforcement will obviously help contain or even reduce this problem. However, FTA continues to call for the establishment of a scheme which would register details of foreign vehicles working in the UK and also make a charge on their so doing.'

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