A YORK-based haulier says rising fuel prices around the country have affected the industry “horrifically”.

The average price of a litre of unleaded petrol is currently 136.65p, just below the national average of 136.86p, but the price of a litre of diesel is 144.9, higher than the national average of 143.83p.

Paul Rhodes, director of A Rhodes Haulage in York, said the price increase was costing his company thousands of pounds per month.

He said: “It’s affecting us horrifically. It’s gone up 6p per litre since the beginning of the year. We use 60,000 litres per month, and 6p times that means we’re £3,600 per month worse off.

“We have to factor for it and we try to pass it on to customers where we can, but they suffer the same way, so at the end of the day, it comes off our bottom line.”

At current prices, a gallon of unleaded costs motorists an average of just over £6.21, while a gallon of diesel costs just under £6.59, and the constant increase in fuel prices has led some businesses, including Mr Rhodes’s, to look at alternatives to diesel.

He said: “We’re looking at everything from more efficient trucks to mixed fuel. We looked at LPG, exploring all availabilities and the network is getting bigger, but still we’re looking at the best price we can buy fuel at and what else is on the market.

“We have to make a living as well, like everyone else, and at the end of the day we have to look at any way we can to save. It’s tough for a lot of people out there. A lot of road hauliers are having it tough, and if we don’t look to make savings where we can, we feel the squeeze like everyone else.”

Campaigners have urged chancellor George Osborne to use next month’s budget to cancel a duty increase due later this year, and start to cut the amount of tax taken by the Government.

Mr Rhodes said: “A Government survey found we have one of the fairest systems. What people don’t realise is that the Government charges 81 per cent tax, and that makes the price as high as it is.

“Any excuse, whether it’s some kind of uprising in a Middle East country, they are very quick to go and put the price up but when it comes down, they are very slow to filter it back.

“Everyone is mocking the report but unfortunately I don’t see a way around it unless the Government changes the amount of tax they charge us. They say they have sympathy with us, but I don’t feel they do.”