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Fuel price rise ROW

PUBLISHED: 17:38 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 August 2010

THE owner of a haulage firm has backed protests in central London over the 30 per cent rise in the price of diesel in the past year. Dozens of lorries converged on Park Lane, London, after travelling in convoy along the A2 past Gravesend on Tuesday. Org

THE owner of a haulage firm has backed protests in central London over the 30 per cent rise in the price of diesel in the past year.

Dozens of lorries converged on Park Lane, London, after travelling in convoy along the A2 past Gravesend on Tuesday.

Organisers presented a coffin to the Houses of Parliament to represent hundreds of haulage firms that they say have gone bankrupt as a result of the high fuel prices.

Len Vasler, 62, owner of LV Transport, Norfolk Road, Gravesend is not taking part in the protests but said: "I fully support anything that might put a stop to these fuel rises.

"It is getting ridiculous now. It is literally going up and up week after week and shows no sign of stopping.

"We buy our fuel in bulk and this week the cost of has gone up by 2p a litre again, every week, it seems to be going up by 2p.

"If we look at what we were paying this time last year, we are paying more than 25 per cent more now."

The protest was organised by Transaction 2007, one of the groups behind the fuel protests in 2000 which caused 90 per cent of petrol stations to run dry.

Protesters also handed in a letter to the Houses of Parliament with their grievances and a copy of the Burns Inquiry, which looked at the effect of fuel taxation and found that the level of diesel duty in the UK was higher than the average EU rate.

Mr Vasler added: "We are seeing more and more foreign lorries on our roads, all with cheaper fuel, let in because they are bringing in more and more food for the supermarkets. What Joe Public doesn't realise is that as the cost of diesel goes up, so does everything else, they don't realise that everything comes by road.

"I have seen more and more firms going bust, they just can't cope, companies with a fleet of 70 or 80 lorries who are shutting down.

"The rise in fuel has such a big knock on effect for everyone."

A Treasury spokesperson said: "The government recognises the vital role of freight transport in economic success of the country, and will continue to monitor oil market developments and take all relevant economic, social and environmental factors into account in future decisions, which are for the Chancellor to make as part of the Budget and Pre Budget Report process."

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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