Disappointment after fuel duty freeze rather than cut

FairFuel UK (FFUK) has said it is "massively disappointed" by Chancellor George Osborne's decision to freeze rather than cut fuel duty.

In the Autumn Statement today the Chancellor confirmed he had cancelled the planned 2ppl increase in fuel duty that was set to come into force next September 2014, as previously promised.

Howard Cox, head of FFUK (pictured), confirmed the campaign would continue to fight for a reduction in the cost of fuel at the pumps. Their had been specualtion that a cut might be offered today, although Cox had previously told CM that next year's pre-General Election Budget remains its key focus.

The Freight Transport Association, a FFUK backer, said a freeze was "good but not good enough".

The Pallet Network-member Transervice Logistix tweeted @rtm_CommMotor in response to the freeze:  "It is not a result for the industry, we need a reduction in duty!"

However, Steve Bowles, MD at Roy Bowles Transport, tweeted: "A great result for British hauliers and British industry."

FFUK backer The Road Haulage Association added that while a freeze was welcome, a cut would have been better.

Steve Prince Transport successor Specialised Pallet Transport in administration

The haulage company set up to take over the former business of Steve Prince Transport after it went into administration has been forced to call in administrators after it made insufficient profits.

Specialised Pallet Transport (SPT) traded from the same Braintree, Essex premises as Steve Prince Transport after buying the haulier in a pre-pack sale in 2012, but it encountered financial problems almost straight away, according to an administrator’s report.

"Due to the unprofitable nature of the business when it was purchased and the time take to restructure and rectify the business by obtaining new contracts, arrears began accruing with some of its suppliers, the Crown and payments due to the administrator for the business acquisition," stated the report from Carter Clark.

"Despite the company trading at break even or marginally better in some months, insufficient profits are being generated to enable the company to clear the arrears which have accrued without creditors providing some debt forgiveness and enabling the company time to pay."

The report added that SPT, which is a Palletways member, will continue to trade the administration in order to provide continuity of service to customers, enhance debtor realisations and reduce claims from employees.

The report said that Palletways has provided funding for the business to continue trading and the amount advanced has been secured by fixed and floating charges created by a debenture.

The majority of staff have remained in their jobs form the time being, but the company is expected to be dissolved following its administration.

SPT director Ron Prince recently told Commercialmotor.com it had settled the bill for Steve Prince Transport’s business and assets after solicitors were appointed to chase the debt. Prince did not respond. Palletways was unable to comment.