A HAULAGE company has closed its garage doors, blaming rising fuel costs and Britain's dwindling industrial sector.
Wentworth Haulage was set up in 1994 by former Chester city councillor Hugo Deynem, who came second in this year's election for Kelsall ward.
Mr Deynem and his wife, Deborah, of Ashton Hayes, took voluntary insolvency last month after realising the company was no longer profitable.
The company, based in Oakmere, had employed five drivers and administrators.
Mr Deynem said: 'I have been working within the transport industry since the late 1980s and have never experienced leaner times. Margins are continually reducing as costs on all fronts continue to rise.
'The main factor is unsurprisingly the cost of fuel, along with the unpredictability of the rises. We had five 44-ton wagons and each used £1,200 of diesel each week. Whenever the price of diesel went up by 1p, that figure would rise by £40.
'By the time we arranged with customers to increase our charges to cover that cost, the fuel prices would already have risen again.'
Mr Deynem has called for a fuel tax rebate for British industries who rely on diesel.
He said: 'Many people will have noticed the huge increase in foreign-registered trucks on our roads.
'These vehicles are allowed to come on to our roads free of charge with up to 1,500 litres of cheaply purchased foreign fuel on board. This is enough to last for a week working at reduced rates here in the UK.
'The only reasonable and fair way forward is for an essential users' rebate for industries who rely on diesel as a main source of fuel.'