Protest over Biodiesel Price Increase

Black CabTaxi drivers in London will be amongst many motorists who are putting pressure on chancellor George Osborne over fuel prices ahead of the Budget.

The UK Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (UKSBA) has requested that black cabbies do a lap around Parliament Square, called Taxis ‘Toot the Treasury’ on 7th March between 9.20am – 940am.

They have been asked to join in the protest over changes to the subsidies for sustainable biodiesel, which is made from using cooking oil.

The black cab drivers will sound their horns 20 times as they drive pass the Treasury, to highlight that from 1st April the tax fuel is expected to increase by 20p per litre, which is around the same price as traditional fuel.

The changes will have a huge effect on companies that provide an alternative fuel source for over 1,000 London based taxi drivers and eco-concious companies. One of the companies who will be affected is Southwark-based Uptown Oil.

The UKSBA has pointed out that even though the government has invested loads in low-carbon technology, its reluctance to halt the biodiesel tax rise will encourage people not to think about biodiesel and the environment.

Jason Askey-Wood, director at Uptown Oil said, “People will go out of their way for biodiesel at the moment to benefit London’s environment because it’s cheaper – but that won’t happen any longer.”

Similar companies will now be relying on getting extra business from companies who are willing to pay more for low-carbon alternatives, but Askey-Wood has said that the rise in biodiesel will probably end its use as a road fuel, as the cost of UK taxi insurance and maintenance of the vehicles already makes it hard to pay extra for biodiesel.

He said, “There are lots of office buildings that are willing to pay more for biodiesel, but it’s a great shame they’re killing it as a road transport fuel,

“But you never know, Christmas might come very early and the chancellor might change his mind.”
Backed by the RAC and freight organisations, FairFuelUK has also taken its battle about fuel prices to the Treasury.

Fuel price pressure group reps have met with Treasury minister Chloe Smith to ask why motorists in Britain pay the highest fuel tax in Europe.

Spokesman for FairFuelUK and motoring journalist, Quentin Wilson, told the BBC Breakfast, “We want the Treasury to understand that by cutting duty we will stimulate the economy, create growth, get people back spending again.

“We have got to stop this fuel duty monster from taking control.”

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