LOCAL hauliers hit out at today's hike in fuel prices - claiming it would drive many of them out of business.
The Road Haulage Association, which represents thousands of lorry operators, said members were angry at the decision to increase fuel duty by 1.28p a litre.
RHA chairman Val Smith today delivered a letter of protest to 10 Downing Street - demanding the Government bring fuel duty into line with other European countries.
Margaret Edmonds, RHA organiser for West Yorkshire, said: "Our members are very angry and feelings are running high. Some people are considering what action to take if nothing comes of our protest."
Mrs Edmonds said the latest increase added £20,000 a year to fuel costs for an operator with 20 lorries.
She said: "We are paying the highest fuel duty in Europe and we cannot be competitive under those circumstances.
"We are setting off at a disadvantage before we turn a wheel."
Despite the anger, a threatened mass protest by drivers angry at the 1.28p per litre rise failed to materialise today.
Fuel protest leaders had urged motorists to stop their vehicles for one minute at 8.30am.
But motoring organisations reported a lack of enthusiasm for the protest, organised by the People's Fuel Lobby pressure group.
A spokesman for AA Roadwatch said: "We have monitored all the motorways and have seen no sign of any protest."
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