Sir, your article ( click here to read) about the recent unification of 14 trade bodies representing French trucking companies to appeal against rising taxes interested me as it reminded me of the plight faced by UK road haulage companies.

As I am involved with road freight, I can understand their passion to defend their industry.

The French unions argue that rising tax costs are making French trucking companies uncompetitive compared with foreign firms, but the same could be said of the taxes levied by the UK government on UK trucking firms.

The government says it cannot unilaterally tax our banks as without a common international ’playing field’ the banks will move out of the UK. However, with the trucking industry the government seems to be doing its utmost to drive (excuse the pun) the industry out of the UK by making our companies more heavily taxed than their continental competitors.

Recent figures show that just 19% (Department for Transport’s own figures) of freight transported across the English Channel into the UK is carried by UK- registered hauliers.

This is largely because the government has made the industry uncompetitive - the UK haulage industry is faced with some of the highest road tax and fuel tax in Europe and has to pay European road tolls, while companies from abroad do not have to pay to use the UK’s roads and can load up with cheaper fuel before they arrive.

I hope recent efforts – and successes - by the UK industry to reverse the situation continue in the future.

Kind regards,

Tim Phillips,
CEO, Freightex