The Freight Transport Association has warned truck operators that they face substantial rises in the price of diesel over the next few weeks. FTA says that the bulk price of diesel has been held at around 64.5p per litre for the last few weeks due to industry being able to draw on bunkered stocks. However, prices on the Rotterdam spot market have dramatically increased during June and the increases are about to arrive on the UK market. FTA anticipates that by early July prices will constitute the highest ever experienced by UK industry approaching 66ppl. (These prices are lower than pump prices because VAT paid on diesel used by industry is recoverable.)

UK road transport is obliged to pay by far the highest prices for diesel throughout the whole of Europe - the UK Government charges our domestic industry a massive 48.8ppl compared with just 23.1ppl in France.

A single 38 tonne articulated truck now pays over £20,000 per year in fuel duty together with thousands of pounds more in vehicle excise duty.

FTA Head of External Affairs, Geoff Dossetter, said 'Fuel prices constitute over one third of the cost of running a truck and high fuel costs have to be reflected in the price of everything we consume. If you've got it then it came on a truck. The Government simply must review the enormous tax bill it delivers to industry and reduce it. It is absurd that such a vital and unavoidable activity - on which we are all dependent for our daily bread - should be taxed to the hilt.'

11,000 FTA members operate over 200,000 goods vehicles including supermarkets, manufacturers, farmers and brewers together with large numbers of very small fleet operators.