PwC orders sale of ROK's fleet

Administrators of the collapsed construction company ROK will sell off the firm's truck and van fleet, discovers Laurie Dealer.

Jo Bourke, roadtransport.com's crime queen, broke the story yesterday.

The fleet includes 10 trucks, seven trailers and 40 vans. Thainstone Specialist Auctions will auction the vehicles off on 28 January at Inverurie, Aberdeen at the behest of administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers

A statement of affairs sent to creditors on 23 December 2010 said preferential creditors are owed £465,592 and non-preferential claimants, including a number of haulage-related firms, are owed £52.3m. At that date the administrator said it was unlikely there would be available funds for any creditors.

FairFuelUK steps up pressure on government

Campaign group FairFuelUK last night renewed its pressure on the government to abolish April's 1ppl hike in fuel duty, warning it will lead to job cuts and company closures.

The FairFuelUK campaign group, launched by Peter Carroll last week, says the impact of the next scheduled fuel duty rise will be even worse than expected because of a surge in inflation.

Carroll warns: "Fuel prices are already at record levels. Everyone is suffering. Surely it cannot be right to go ahead against the background of such high prices and an increasing level of inflation. Businesses and millions of motorists are being squeezed and cannot take any more of these increases without jobs being lost, prices in the shops going up and businesses going bust."

He adds: "It's vital that everyone who is concerned about surging fuel prices backs us at www.fairfueluk.com. The government will only listen if we have enormous business and public support."

The planned April fuel duty rise will be the fourth in 12 months and follows VAT increasing to 20% in January.

Geoff Dunning, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, says fuel prices will soar by up to 5ppl in April.

In December, seven hauliers entered liquidation, most of which were crippled by high fuel costs. Other companies have warned there is only so many fuel hikes they can endure.

Paul Headley, MD of Beeford, East Yorks-based Paul Headley Transport, which runs a 12-strong HGV fleet, says: "Fuel rises are crippling the industry and will lead to the demise of many companies this year." He estimates the January fuel rise alone will add £12,000 to his monthly running costs.

Roadtransport.com and the Freight Transport Association are also backing the FairFuelUK campaign.