Suffolk hauliers to protest in London

TRUCKERS from Suffolk are being invited to join a big protest which will take the haulage industry's deepening concern over fuel prices straight to the door of parliament.

TRUCKERS from Suffolk are being invited to join a big protest which will take the haulage industry's deepening concern over fuel prices straight to the door of parliament.

Organisers of the rally - which will see a convoy of lorries drive into London - are hoping for a huge turnout to bring the capital to a standstill.

Road Haulage Association spokeswoman Kate Gibbs said: “We really want the government to take notice this time and we are hoping as many drivers as possible will join us.

“It is an open invitation to all drivers all over the country and we would love to see a large contingent from Suffolk, the Port of Felixstowe, join us.”

The convoy will set off from the M40 Westway south to Westminster early Wednesday and the day will feature a rally at 11.30am in the Old Palace Yard opposite Westminster.

Truckers will also visit the House of Commons and requests have been sent to 645 MPs seeking meetings to discuss the soaring fuel prices and why Britain has the highest levels of fuel duty in Europe.

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“This will be one of the biggest ever lobbies of Parliament by UK transport operators,” said TransAction spokesman Peter Carroll.

“This industry is so efficient it often goes unnoticed but July 2 will be the day when it will make its voice well and truly heard.

“UK hauliers are desperate to see action taken against the almost daily increases in the price of fuel. By the time we leave London, MPs will be left in no doubt as to the intolerable knock-on effects being suffered by a vast number of their constituents.”

The industry wants workable solutions that will bring short term relief and a long term solution to the problems being faced, such as putting in place a fuel duty regulator to freeze fuel duty if world oil prices rose above levels forecast by the chancellor.

“We will be presenting politicians with workable solutions that would go a long way to helping an industry under threat,” said Transport Association chairman Stephen Taylor.

“It is therefore essential that the chancellor sees sense and defers any increase on fuel duty in October.”

RHA chief executive Roger King said: “Britain's hauliers are going through an unprecedented financial crisis thanks to the huge increase in fuel prices and customers for haulage are finding it increasingly difficult to meet ever-rising fuel surcharges.

“Additional haulage costs such as wages, vehicles etc are almost impossible to pass on. Government can and must help.”

Should the government cut tax on fuel? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk