British haulage company shuts down over fuel costs

Romney Marsh haulage company Derek Linch Ltd shuts down over fuel prices

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Fuel protesters have vowed to continue their fight for lower duty with warnings that haulage firms will be killed off by pump prices.

Leading British haulage company Derek Linch Ltd, in Romney Marsh, Kent, has been the latest to sink under the pressure of sky-rocketing fuel costs.

Facing European competition and fears of spiralling into debt, owner Mr Linch took the decision to go into voluntary liquidation after 33 years in business.

He said that since fuel started going up in January 2010, his fuel bill has risen by £20,000, which for him just was no longer a viable option to continue operating.

Joseph Rice & Son, a haulage firm in Gloucester, closed just before Derek Linch Ltd., after trading for 161 years. And this was because of fuel prices.

It is obvious, I would think that we will see more hauliers closing down over rising fuel costs.

Mr Linch was one of the people who helped organise the fuel protests in 1999 and 2000 calling for Government to introduce an essential-user rebate for hauliers and he said that the recent Budget announcement by Chancellor George Osborne did not go far enough.

Mr Osborne scrapped the 1p increase in fuel duty and cancelled this April's planned 4p rise. He also announced the introduction of a fair fuel stabiliser, which was a pre-election pledge by the Tories last year. The stabiliser would see fuel duty fall when oil prices rise.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news to all hauliers but the way things are going, especially when the oil shortage caused by the fact that we have gone past Peak Oil and we are headed downhill now, the prices will rise further and further I should think. Government will be able to do very little about it and it may be a case of having to take a new look at how hauliers work. The time of the heavy diesel trucks may be coming to an end.

© 2011