Scottish fuel duty discount scheme excludes hauliers

A Scottish Western Isles MP is demanding that the Treasury closes a loophole in a 5ppl fuel discount scheme after it was discovered it doesn’t include fuel delivered in bulk to hauliers.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil says the cost of fuel has risen by 20ppl since the pilot scheme was first mooted and so there are questions over whether any islander will feel a benefit anyway.

“The whole point of this scheme was to help households and businesses with the soaring cost of fuel, but before the pilot is even underway the Treasury has excluded hauliers from the benefits of the scheme,” he says.

“This is a Treasury problem and Danny Alexander, as Chief Secretary and as a Highland MP, must step in to ensure that hauliers are not excluded from this scheme.”

The issue has arisen as hauliers serving the Western Isles have attacked the government’s decision to increase ferry crossing rates by 50%.

Phil Flanders, regional director at the Road Haulage Association, has added his voice to those calling for the fuel scheme to be reviewed: “I have a lot of sympathy for people on the islands. Fuel prices have gone up but not quite as much as on the islands, where it’s five or six pence per litre more, which raises some questions. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and call it an oversight. But they should review it."

Crossrail ups HGV cycle safety procedures

HGVs delivering to Crossrail construction sites that have not been fitted with safety equipment for cyclists will be refused entry, according to the engineering firm.

In addition, contractors will be liable for any costs incurred if they are turned away, as the company pushes ahead with measures to support Transport for London’s work to improve conditions for cyclists.

HGVs are expected to have been fitted with Fresnel lenses, side scan equipment, under-run guards and warning alerts for cyclists.

Crossrail was unable to confirm to how many principal contractors it relies on as it went to press, but it says they have all given their “full support” to the strategy.

It also says more than 2,000 lorry drivers have received road safety training and that “a limited number of lorries” have already been turned away from its sites.

“HGVs that do not comply with our increased requirements will be refused entry to Crossrail worksites and turned away, incurring financial cost to individual contractors,” says Andy Mitchell, Crossrail programme director.

“As our contractors often work on multiple construction projects, these new safety measures will help improve lorry safety across the construction industry, delivering benefits for cyclists across London,” he adds.