Fleet News

Fleets keep the pump but admit it's fuel for thought

FLEETS are dumping the protest and keeping the pump - although some fleet managers admit to privately supporting the national call for fuel duty to be reduced. Organisers of the call to boycott the pumps -known as the 'Dump the Pumps' campaign - launched the campaign on August 1 and plan to continue it every Monday until Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown cuts UK fuel duties.

Although national support for the campaign aimed at cutting fuel duty from a European-high of 76p in the £1 was described as 'patchy', organisers claimed 'an incredible kick-start'.

After receiving figures from 132 petrol stations around the UK, 'Boycott the Pumps' organisers claimed:

  • A 38% reduction in daily turnover
  • A 40% awareness of the boycott campaign
  • 92% of customers said that fuel tax was excessive and want to see it reduced

However, while fleet managers took a personal view not to fill-up, no companies issued unilateral directives to company car drivers to boycott the pumps.

Leigh Weston, in charge of 320 cars and a handful of vans at West Midlands-based Sandvik, said: 'As a company we did not endorse the campaign. However I dumped the pump, as did my wife. I believe we are terrifically over-taxed on fuel. The Government has got away with murder.'

David Morse, in charge of National Grid's fleet of 1,000 cars and 1,000 commercial vehicles, said: 'National Grid does not have a view on the campaign. But personally I believe fuel duty is too high. Fuel prices would be an easier pill to swallow if the money the Treasury raised from fuel duty was ploughed back into transport.'

Just days before the first boycott fuel retailers, including BP and Shell as well as some supermarket groups including Sainsbury's and Morrisons, dropped pump prices by up to 3p a litre in response to falls in the price of cruide oil.

Did you Dump The Pump? E-mail me on: marks@automotive.emap.co.uk

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