Fleet News

Drivers urged to boycott petrol stations in stand against fuel duty

COMPANY car drivers are being targeted in a campaign urging drivers to join a weekly boycott of fuel forecourts in protest at the taxation of petrol and diesel. The organisers of the internet-based 'Boycott the pumps' campaign are calling for motorists to steer clear of stations on August 1 - dubbed 'Dump the pump day' - and then every Monday 'until the Government acts and cuts the taxes'.

The campaign launched as separate surveys by American Express found fuel costs more in the UK than the rest of Europe, while PHH this week released figures showing fuel costs have risen by more than 45% over the last five years.

E-mails calling for support have been sent to one million people - many of them company car drivers - with a plea to forward it to all their friends. The two behind the campaign, Chris Longhurst and Neil Woodier, have created a website, on which they highlight the fact that fuel is taxed at 340%. They believe a boycott would send a clear signal to the Chancellor and create cash-flow problems for petrol retailers, who will in turn put pressure on the Government.

Barry Goh, who covers 36,000 miles a year in his role as a service engineer for Hertfordshire-based reprographics company Autologic Information Systems, said he and his colleagues were absolutely sick of being forced to stomach annual fuel price hikes.

'This policy fails in its environmental objectives because there simply isn't an alternative to the car,' said Goh. 'It just pushes costs up for business and the price of goods up to the general public.'

But fleet chiefs say the campaign will not succeed. David Lee, fleet manager of John Laing Construction, said: 'This campaign hasn't got a cat in hell's chance of succeeding because the Government would simply ask whether we are prepared to see cut-backs in education and healthcare as a result of lost tax revenue.'

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