Rates pressure, diesel prices and lorry road user levy revenues are among the points the RHA wants the chancellor to consider ahead of the Budget (20 March).Rates remain a ‘key concern’ , with members noting that a significant increase in fuel prices would not push them to raise rates as they believe they would lose business.

RHA head of policy Jack Semple said in the statement: “Customers are themselves working on slim margins and requests for haulage rate increases are likely to prompt them to seek alternative suppliers offering lower rates.”

The RHA said there are “worrying signs” that diesel prices will move towards the recorded all-time high, since the average price increased by 5.8 ppl between the end of 2012 and mid-February 2013.

It also said that if the 3ppl increase had not been scrapped in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement in December, hauliers would now be paying the highest ever price for diesel.

The RHA also identified three possible uses for the revenue generated by the lorry road user charge, including roads spending, investing in the industry and payment into general funds.

The chancellor is also being strongly urged to ensure that HMRC receives enough resources to combat fuel laundering and fraud, which it says RHA members are growing increasingly concerned with.

“We are keen to ensure that reporting [by the traffic commissioners and Vosa] becomes standard practice, so that appropriate and proportionate action can be taken the O-licences of those responsible,” Semple said.