FairFuelUK
has so far fought off £30bn in TAX hikes

The FairFuelUK Campaign fights for lower fuel prices at the pumps

and is backed by these prestigious organisations
Freight Transport Association
The Road Haulage Association
The Association of Pallet Networks
UKLPG - The trade association for the LPG industry in the UK
The RAC
FairFuelUK, the Nationally Recognised Award Winning Campaign fighting for lower petrol & diesel prices, is widely accredited with stopping £30 billion of road user taxes being levied on businesses & public in this Parliament

Quentin Willson - Lead FairFuelUK CampaignerQuentin Willson is one of Britain’s best-known motoring authorities and is lead campaigner for FairFuelUK. He spent over a decade presenting BBC's Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and was largely responsible for bringing the once scandalously high prices of new cars in the UK down to the same level as the rest of Europe.



3 MPG: The Heavy Transport Association is celebrating 30 years in Business. They have produced a brilliant publication of what their industry is all about. They have included on Page 128 a history of FairFuelUK. Take a look here
Sunday, July 20, 2014



And there we were thinking that the war against the car was over. All through the Blair years New Labour did its best to demonise the car. The era of Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad. The Congestion Charge (remember how we very nearly had one in Manchester too), draconian parking regulations, carpeting the country with speed cameras, cancelling 100 major road building projects, attempts to charge 4x4s £25 to enter London, speed bumps everywhere, Ken Livingstone famously saying that 'if I had my way I'd ban all cars", the John Prescott Memorial bus lane on the M4 and of course all Alistair Darling's raft of hated fuel duty escalators. Hopefully historians will represent this as a period of rabid anti-car sentiment from the Left. And hopefully they'll see that it wasn't just a hared of cars, but of middle-class people who drive shiny ones. Looking back, I wonder how we let so many left-wing politicians get away with so much thinly-veiled class hatred.


But today I read that The Centre for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank with close links to both Ed Balls and Ed Milliband is calling for fuel duty to be doubled. They want higher fuel duty in the U.S and suggest that European countries should do the same to reduce congestion and pay for transport infrastructure projects. This is so simplistic and child-like its unbelievable. Both the US and UK have long established road economies and only a few major cities have joined up public transport systems. To try and pay through increased fuel duty for a usable, practical and efficient mass transportation system in either country would take decades and cost trillions upon trillions of dollars and pounds. The idea is totally absurd. But think-tanks like this, publishing half-formed thoughts dreamt up by someone in a luke-warm bath, often get surprising amounts of traction. The Blair Government certainly thought reducing road use was a good idea and I worry that both Milliband and Balls are of this persuasion too. Their silence on future road transport strategies is concerning.


The tragedy here is that there clearly are senior politicians who still don't understand that huge swathes of the population entirely depend on cars and vans to survive. To these people mobility is everything and they have no other choice. Public transport simply isn't a viable option for 90% of the population. Yet those same politicians want to take away that freedom of cost effective mobility because they feel its a bad thing. They think those hard-working people create too much pollution and congestion and should be denied the right of cheap movement. And those politicians don't understand that cancelling all those road building projects has caused congestion and pollution and that decades of under-investment in our road system is why things are so bad. Free flowing traffic causes much less pollution than lines of immobile cars all with their engines idling impotently. Its the absence of good sense and well-researched information about road transport in the UK that worries me.

 

The war on the car isn't over yet and we should all be concerned that certain corners of Westminster still haven't seen the light. We at FairFuelUK have done our utmost to control fuel duty and proved the benefits. Does this left-leaning think tank really believe that the uplift in GDP we've created by having cheaper pump prices is a negative? Do they really think that the increased economic activity because of more affordable transport costs should stop? Why aren't they telling us that we should increase investment and usage of low-emission and electric cars. Why aren't they suggesting that the U.S and U.K become world leaders in zero-emission technology? Because they only know one reflexive reaction to car and van use. Make it so expensive that we're all forced to jump on a public transport system that doesn't exist. Like Ken Livingstone, if the Left had its way, they'd ban all cars completely. Sad, but true.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014



MPs outside the OFT with Quentin WillsonSeveral weeks ago Brent Crude hit $115. This was, anxious voices assured us, because of Isis invading Iraq and concerns over the security of those all important oil fields. Commodity traders bet on higher prices and future shortages, steadily pushing prices up. A day later saner voices said that actually those all important oil fields in Iraq aren't being threatened at all because they're on the other side of the country far away from the current hostilities and well protected. Within hours the price of Brent Crude slipped back and as I write its at its lowest for two months at $106 a barrel. Now forgive me if I sound simplistic here, but it looks like that spike in price of $9 was created by market misinformation. Ill-informed commentators spooked the market and even more ill-informed hedge funds and pension managers pushed prices up. It took expert analysts and credible comment to bring prices down. Is this really how the oil market works? Do we have to pay an extra 3 pence a litre on our fuel because somebody doesn't understand the geography of Iraq? Did somebody not look at a map? Can a $9 spike in oil prices really be caused by a few people crying Wolf?

If this indeed is what happened, then governments and regulators in the UK and US need to look at this fast. The damage this sort of misunderstanding of geopolitical events can cause to our economies is huge. And, as far as I can see, there's no checking mechanism. If one oil trading desk says oil supplies are under threat, the rest seem to react like Pavlov's Dogs and prices automatically soar. That's not the way mature and sophisticated markets should work. Or am I just an idealist? When isolated market comment has no bearing on the facts it shouldn't be allowed to move prices. There should always be some credible voice of reason to protect us all from needless spikes and rises caused by crap information.

And here's another aberration in the oil market. A few short weeks on from all that talk of shortages and security of supply we now have a situation where market commentators are talking of over supply. Apparently Libya's largest oil field has resumed production after a four month strike and there are 'continuing concerns about oversupply'. Does a single oil field really make that much difference to the market? Or is this another example of misinformation? Looking at oil trading activity over the last few days the over supply rumour has certainly had an effect. Because the Commodities Futures Trading Commission report that a lot of hedge and pension funds have changed their positions. Previously there were 18,545 bets on oil prices rising, now there are 7,237 bets on oil prices falling.  And yes, gentle reader, it does all sound like a casino with impulsive bets being placed on a whim.

Why this market is so obviously unregulated and so clearly open to abuse and mismanagement is one of our greatest economic mysteries. One thing's for sure though, if we let these commodity price gamblers carry on unchecked, we'll be back to 2008 all over again.
 
These are the reasons why you must get all your friends, colleagues and family to sign up to www.fairfueluk.com as we are the ones with your backing to get that full and transparent enquiry into how the fuel 32 million road users put into their tanks is priced.
 
Quentin Willson  

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Monday, July 7, 2014



The Sun July 13 2014In the largest on-line annual survey of UK road users who also back the FairFuelUK campaign's fight for lower fuel prices at the pumps, it seems that the main UK Political Parties don’t seem to reconcile that alienating 32 million vehicle road users and their needs will be political lunacy. With the general election just 10 months away, political candidates and their parties really do ignore the needs of this group at their peril.

Main Poll Headlines 
 
Politics
 
Political Party that understands needs of UK road users
Political Party that understands needs of road users by region
  
In a poll question about which UK Political Party best understands the needs of 32 million road users, two thirds of FairFuelUK supporters said they have little faith in any of the major political parties in Westminster by saying "none of them". Those that did state a party put UKIP in front of the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems. The same pattern of apathy towards road users was exhibited across all UK regions to the relevant local political parties. 

UK Road User Issues
 UK Road User Issues

In the next question in this huge poll, 11,183 respondents were asked to list their top 5 issues of road user concern. Their replies were collected over 72 hours from June 27th.Overwhelmingly 94.2% of these road users listed Fuel Duty as being their major worry, with 86% also putting fuel pricing transparency in their top five concerns. Not far behind, 7 out of 10 listed road maintenance and potholes to be amongst their sizable fears. For the 4th year running, in the largest annual poll of UK road users, the high level of Fuel Duty in the UK continues to be the number one concern. Nearly 70% put oil speculation as an additional worry and 4 out of 10 questioned whether there’s even a real need for the planned (HS2) High Speed 2 investment.

Oil SpeculatorsOil Speculators

The sample were also asked on the basis of the latest Middle East crisis that has been recently cited by speculators as a reason to hike up pump prices. Iraq is responsible for only 3.5% of the World's oil supply, and as yet there being no interruption to supply and with the pound at the highest level for 3 years, is it right Oil Speculators influence what we pay at the pumps? 86% of FairFuelUK supporters said absolutely no! In a follow up question they were asked if there should be a thorough investigation in the oil speculation process. 98% said yes.

Quentin Willson, lead spokesman for the FairFuelUK Campaign said:‘FairFuelUK’s survey shows the financial angst of 32 million road users. Unless the UK has predictable road fuel costs that are protected from the debilitating effects of oil speculation and high taxes, both the economy and the Government will be in serious trouble.’

Howard Cox, Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign said:'It will be electoral suicide if the main political parties do not convince 32 million road users that they have sympathy with their needs. By only paying lip service to road maintenance, not reducing the highest level of fuel duty worldwide and ignoring oil speculators who fix pump prices for personal gain, clear party policies not addressing these concerns will turn away voters in their millions.'
 
 
 
 
 
FairFuelUK Campaign StickerPlease buy a campaign sticker with all proceeds going to fight for lower fuel prices at the pumps at http://www.fairfueluk.com/campaigndonations.html#FFUKStickers


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Sunday, July 6, 2014



We got hold of a document from the Petroleum Industries Association about the potential impact of the European Fuel Quality Directive Article 7a on pump prices.The Article is meant to cut greenhouse gas emissions by requiring fuel suppliers (in this case refineries) to use less greenhouse-gas-intensive fuels. This has caused a big row for various reasons, focused around what is known as "differentiation" of crude oils - basically ranking different types of raw product according to how dirty they are. The PIA report says this would force pump prices up by 3p a litre.
 
Here's what Quentin Willson said on behalf of FairFuleUK:
 
'This is yet more unnecessary interference from the EU. 3p per litre increase will cost jobs, hurt families, businesses and affect Economic growth in the name of a spurious green EU agenda. We'd be better spending on better servicing, modern oils and getting rid of lots of smokey, worn out diesel cars and vans. FairFuelUK convinced the Government that lower fuel duty is good for growth and investment. The EU could undo all this good work by FairFuelUK
 
And here is how today's Sun covered this story:
 
The Sun July 6th 2014

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Saturday, July 5, 2014



BBC BreakfastYou may have watched BBC Breakfast on today, Saturday morning and choked on your Frosties when you heard that there are plans to raise fuel duty by two pence to help pay for pot hole repairs. This is totally wrong and FairFuelUK and I would be apoplectic at such a suggestion. We corrected their mistake directly with the producer. Subsequent reports have changed. The real story is that the Local Government Association wants the Government to take two pence from their existing fuel duty and VED revenue and put it into road maintenance. Which, broadly is a very good idea although Mr Osborne may not be enthusiastic. But the fact remains that the £100 plus million recently earmarked by the Government to be spent on urgent pot hole repairs is a rain drop echoing in an ocean given that there's a £12 billion backlog in road maintenance across the UK.


But the important story that everybody missed is that vast amounts - in some counties as much as half - of the money meant to repair our crumbling, pock-marked roads is being spent by councils on compensation for damaged suspension and wheels caused by pot holes. These claims are running at epic levels. By neglecting our roads so shamefully, the little money available to repair them is now being wasted on compo claims caused by that very same neglect. Am I just an idealist or is there a really stupid, unforgivable and ridiculous irony here? Watch this space because this is something we all need to know about - soon.

 

Quentin


Here is the LGA release misreported by the BBC:

 

INVEST FUEL DUTY TO ALLOW COUNCILS TO FIX OUR ROADS WITHIN A DECADE

 

Investing fuel duty back into road maintenance would allow councils to bring our crumbling highways up to scratch within a decade, town hall bosses pledge today. The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said the Government could inject a further £1 billion a year into roads maintenance by investing just 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty. This should not be paid for by increasing fuel duty rates.


This could help councils tackle the damage done to our roads by recent harsh winters and decades of underfunding by successive governments which has seen the national backlog of road repairs rise to £12 billion – up £1.5 billion in the past year alone.


The Government has recently responded to council calls for extra funding to repair our roads which include giving councils a share of a £168 million fund to fix potholes last month. However, this is simply not enough to free councils trapped in an endless cycle of only being able to patch up our deteriorating network which will always be more expensive than longer-term preventative work. Next week’s LGA Annual Conference, the biggest event in the local government calendar, will see councils unveil a blueprint for the next government to tackle the key issues facing the country including how to fix our deteriorating roads.

 

The LGA said it is time for government to commit to vital long-term investment by handing councils a slice of fuel duty cash for road repairs and maintenance. Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board, said: "Our roads are in such disrepair that it will now take more than a decade and £12 billion to bring them up to scratch. Tackling this ever-growing national repair bill must be a priority and the Government can do this by injecting an extra £1 billion a year into roads maintenance - funded by investing 2 pence a litre from existing fuel duty. "Motorists pay billions to the Treasury each year in fuel duty when they fill up their car at the pumps only to then have to drive on roads that are decaying after decades of under funding. They deserve roads fit for the 21st century.


"Reinvesting a small proportion of fuel duty would allow councils to bring our roads up to scratch over the next decade. Councils are fixing around 2 million potholes each year despite funding cuts and multi-million pound compensation costs for pothole damage but are trapped in an endless cycle of patching up our deteriorating network. "This is leaving our country sleep-waking into a roads crisis that is escalating at an alarming pace. It will only get worse with the Government’s own traffic projections predicting a potential increase in local traffic of more than 40 per cent by 2040. Long-term and consistent investment and better use of motoring taxation is now desperately needed to allow councils to provide widespread improvement of our roads.”


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It is managed by Howard Cox and Quentin Willson. email: campaign@fairfueluk.com    
Contact and Media: Howard Cox 07515 421611
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