LONDON, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Road Haulage Association welcomes today's announcement by the Chancellor that the 2 pence per litre fuel duty increase is to be deferred until October 2008.

"Yes of course we welcome today's news," said RHA Chief Executive Roger King. "It is encouraging to know that we have a Chancellor who has listened to what we have to say. However, this deferment is essentially a short term fix. Ours is an industry that is now in desperate need of a long term solution, not just a deferment of a fuel duty increase in October 2008 and another proposed 1.84 pence per litre in April 2009.

"The price of fuel continues to rise on what seems to be a daily basis and the costs for the UK haulage industry rise in line with each increase.

"We have heard of incentives for motorists to save their motoring costs with vehicle excise duty levels being reduced for vehicles with low carbon emissions. UK hauliers are already operating the cleanest vehicles in Europe.

"We still await a view from the Chancellor on how UK hauliers can meet foreign competition, fuelled with diesel that is at least 26 ppl cheaper. This is distorting the marketplace, is unfair and remains unacceptable.

"This was billed as a budget for stability fairness and opportunity for everyone in Britain. But have seen no fairness for hauliers in dealing with foreign competition. Our campaign to stop further fuel duty increases will continue."

The Road Haulage Association - more than you think

For more details, contact RHA Communications Manager Kate Gibbs on Tel: +44-1932-838917, Mob: +44-7979-531451