The UK’s high rate of fuel duty means that £1,000 of diesel bought in bulk on the continent will take a truck 220 miles further than if it were bought in the UK, according to the Freight Transport Association which warns that UK operators are under increasing competitive pressure.
The warning follows the news that the Fair Fuel Campaign’s e-petition has now received 102,000 signatures making it eligible for a debate in the House of Commons.
FTA chief Theo de Pencier said: "With rates of duty on the Continent up to 24 pence per litre lower than on this side of the Channel surely it is in the UK’s best interests for Government to level the playing field.
"If something isn’t done to redress this imbalance we will see more domestic hauliers pushed to the limit to try to remain competitive; the result will inevitably mean more costs being passed on, which will stoke inflation further, or, worse still, mean more redundancies and more companies going bust.”
The FTA calculates that the average EU forecourt diesel is 21.51ppl cheaper than UK forecourt diesel (ex-VAT) and 16.58 ppl cheaper than UK bulk diesel ex-VAT.
This means that for a 44-tonne truck and using an average fuel consumption of 8.2 miles per gallon, £1000 of UK bulk diesel would allow for 1342 miles of travel, 222 miles less than £1000 of diesel from an EU forecourt.
And £1000 of diesel purchased from an average EU forecourt would allow for 1564 miles of travel while £1000 of diesel purchased from an average UK forecourt would allow for 1284 miles of travel, a difference of 280 miles.