RHAThe Road Haulage Association has welcomed the news that the European Commission has approved the UK Government application for the rural fuel duty rebate scheme in principle and has formally published the legislative proposal required for a change in EU law.

“The proposal of a rural fuel duty rebate scheme of a 5 pence per litre duty discount comes as good news for hard pressed hauliers across Scotland”, said RHA Director Phil Flanders. “However”, he continued, “this will only be seen as the first step. Island communities have been and continue to be particularly hard hit by the rising cost of transporting goods essential for day to day living. The extent of any scheme will need to be looked at both urgently and closely.

“There are numerous areas on the Scottish mainland which are very remote in terms of freight journeys; Ardnamurchan and the Mull of Kintyre for example. Pump prices in these areas are particularly high compared to mainland areas because of the high transport and distribution costs.

“A five pence per litre duty discount will go some way to helping ease the financial burden in these areas but more must be done. Yes, these proposals are a start, but there is still a very long way to go. The proposals, as they stand, amount to using a small sledgehammer to crack a very large nut”.

For more information: www.rha.uk.net