Fleet News

Support for fuel duty levels as pumps boycott gathers momentum

THE Government has been told not to cut road fuel duties amid pressure from transport organisations and national newspapers.

The plea comes from the chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Professor Sir Tom Blundell, who simultaneously condemned the Government for not spending more cash raised from fuel duties on improving transport alternatives to cars.

With 'boycott the pumps' days planned in protest at the Government as pump prices near £1 a litre/£4.54 a gallon, the Commission told MPs that the environment appeared to have been forgotten by organisations and newspapers campaigning for road fuel duty cuts.

Blundell said: 'The press coverage rarely makes any connection between Government policy on combatting climate change and the high level of taxation on road fuels in the UK. Disappointingly the Government doesn't seem to be making much of this connection either. But road transport's contribution to the UK's emissions of greenhouse gases is a large and growing one.

'We particularly regret that successive Governments did not devote more of the revenues from the fuel duty escalator to improving the alternatives to cars which produce less carbon dioxide. We hope significant changes in public transport investment will be announced in the near future.'

The Association of British Drivers condemned the fuel duty levels as 'highway robbery' and claimed that the duty, far from being increased on environmental grounds, was 'a cynical exercise in raising the most money for the least political fallout'.

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