LONDON, October 17 /PRNewswire/ -- News that the supermarket fuel price war has resulted in the price of litre of petrol now costing under one pound at some sites comes as a smack in the teeth to the UK haulage industry; the industry on which UK plc is totally reliant.

"This time it's not just road hauliers who are getting a raw deal," said RHA Head of Communications, Kate Gibbs. "Diesel cars, originally sold as the 'economic option', accounted for more than 40 per cent of new car sales in 2007. But today, the pump price differential between petrol and diesel has made the engine choice almost immaterial."

In June 2007, crude oil was trading at $70.50 per barrel and the price differential between petrol and diesel was 0.4 pence. In July this year, hauliers were being forced to pay, on average, GBP1.27 pence per litre for diesel as the crude price soared to $147 per barrel. The price of crude oil has now fallen dramatically and, if the City is to be believed, looks set to fall even lower. This however is of little consolation to the UK haulier who is still paying, on average, nearly twelve pence per litre more than users of petrol.

"This cost difference feeds through directly to the price of food and other goods thereby further increasing the cost of living," continued Kate Gibbs. "Even if hauliers were paying the same price for diesel as that offered by some supermarkets for petrol, they would still be unable to take advantage of the lower cost as trucks have no access to supermarket forecourts."

"Road hauliers provide an essential service. Without them, the UK really would come to a standstill. Despite this they are STILL paying over the odds for their fuel and STILL paying one of the highest levels of diesel duty within the EU."

In its pre-Budget submission, the RHA has suggested that the established principle that petrol and diesel should cost about the same price be restored. This could be achieved by increasing the duty on petrol by 5 pence per litre and reducing diesel duty by a corresponding 5 pence per litre. This would ensure that all motorists have an equal share of the pain caused by high oil prices.

The Road Haulage Association - more than you think

For more details, contact RHA Head of Communications, Kate Gibbs on: +44(0)1932-838917, Mob: +44(0)7979-531451