FairFuelUK (FFUK) has renewed its call for a 3p cut in fuel duty and demanded greater recognition of the haulage industry’s contribution to cutting emissions in an open letter to chancellor Philip Hammond.
The letter, sent to the chancellor ahead of next week’s Budget (8 March), also calls for significant investment in the UK’s roads infrastructure, moves to get rid of polluting buses and vans in city centres and support for diesel vehicle owner to upgrade to cleaner fuels.
It points to both Treasury and FFUK research that shows fuel duty cuts increase profits, wages and consumption and boost taxes.
Charlie Elphicke, chair of the APPG for FairFuel, said in the letter that a 3p cut in fuel duty “would mean more jobs - and money in the pockets of families and small businesses. This is a powerful case for the chancellor that lower fuel duty will help turbocharge growth in Brexit Britain".
The letter also calls for measures to cut emissions that don’t unfairly target hauliers.
It said: “The forward-thinking UK haulage industry has made massive contributions to cleaner emissions with their latest Euro-6 vehicles helping to massively reduce NOx and particulates across the UK and in our cities.
“They have, however, been unfairly cited as significant contributors to air quality when buses, other public transport sources and industry machinery have been ignored."
Referring to London mayor’s proposed diesel scrappage scheme for cars, taxis and vans, Elphicke said the scheme would cost billions of pounds, adding: “ He could reduce emissions just as much if he got rid of clapped out London buses and ageing trains, and all at a fraction of the cost. We need a fair and affordable replacement scheme that tackles all high emission vehicles – and to stop demonising diesel drivers.”
The letter also questions why the road improvements “remain a low priority to the government,” warning that “an overstretched transport system is more than inconvenient; it is hugely costly, in economic and environmental terms.”