Freightlink Europe director Lesley O’Brien has appeared on BBC national news calling for the government to introduce an essential user rebate to help hauliers deal with rising fuel costs.

Speaking to BBC News today (7 June), O’Brien spoke of the challenges the haulage industry faces as fuel prices continue to rise.

Asked what more support the government could give the industry, O’Brien said: “Obviously cutting fuel duty or having an essential user rebate would help everybody, “ she said, adding: “Name one thing that doesn’t come on the back of a lorry.”

She said that aside from the recent severe rises in fuel prices, the industry was also struggling with the hike in National Insurance, which she said has had a “dramatic” effect on her company, combined with the pressures of rising vehicle and vehicle part costs.

“This year we have seen a 30% increase in costs so cutting fuel duty would be the one really quick hit that would help everyone in the country,” she added.

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O’Brien was also interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, on the same day, where she explained that the fuel price rise had seen the cost of running an average artic rise from £41,000 in 2021 to close to £61,000 this year.

She told Today listeners: “This certainly is a crisis as we’ve seen fuel prices escalate over the last year by 50% and no sight of a stop, so we absolutely as an industry need to keep on top of this,” adding that the fuel price rises were unprecedented in her experience.

O’Brien is a member of the RHA, which is campaigning for an essential user rebate on fuel duty. This week RHA reported that week-on-week diesel price increases at the forecourt are currently running at above 1ppl, with the latest rise at 1.2ppl, following a rise of 1.3ppl last week. When compared to last year the price of diesel at the pumps is now more than 50ppl.