Following the news that petrol consumption fell to its lowest ever level last month, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has urged the government to reduce road fuel duty in order to provide a much needed boost to the freight transport industry.

In a message to chancellor George Osborne, the FTA has called for a reduction in road fuel duty of three pence per litre in the forthcoming 2013 budget.

The association insists that the government's current plans for economic growth do not focus on the right areas, and is recommending a shift in attitudes toward providing extra help to the freight transport sector in order to spark wider financial regeneration throughout the UK, Fleet News reports.

This statement is based on the fact that the nation's economy saw no growth last year, which is why the FTA is asking to be given a more prominent role in the government's overall plans to drive industry forward.

According to the submission put forward to the chancellor by the FTA, reducing road fuel duty will help to stimulate consumer command for goods as a result of increased freight activity, while a similar reduction in gas oil duty could stimulate more investment in low-carbon fuelled vehicles.

The freight transport sector experienced a particularly difficult year in 2012, with increases in fuel prices and taxes playing a part in this. The reduction of these costs could help the sector to expand, creating large numbers of new supply chain jobs in order to meet increased demand for goods and logistics services.

Lobby groups such as FairFuel UK have also been pressuring the government into sanctioning a fuel duty cut following a number of price hikes in recent times.

Petrol consumption fell by 5.4 per cent last month when compared to January 2012, reaching its lowest level since the government began tracking the figures 23 years ago.

Any cut in road fuel duty could well help to drive up fuel consumption, as well as providing a boost for the logistics industry, both of which are likely to benefit the nation's economy.

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