Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 15:09 UK

Jobs blow as haulage firm crashes

Macfarlane lorry
Adminstrators have failed to find a buyer for the company

One of Britain's biggest road hauliers, Leeds-based Macfarlane Transport, has gone into administration with the loss of about 300 jobs.

The company has blamed the decision to cease trading on rising fuel prices and an increasingly competitive market.

Administrators KPMG said the company, which has an annual turnover of 20m, had seen its profit margins come under "unsustainable pressure".

A spokesman said "energetic" attempts to sell it as a going concern failed.

Hauliers' protest

Richard Fleming, KPMG restructuring partner and joint administrator, said: "It's very unfortunate that this long-established business has been unable to survive and that large scale redundancies will be inevitable as a result."

The firm runs more than 100 trucks from its base in Cross Green.

It was set up in 1978 by two brothers with one second-hand lorry.

Macfarlane Transport was later bought out by its management but went into administration for the first time in 2006 when it was rescued by local businessman Stephen Cooke.

News of the company's demise comes a day after hundreds of hauliers demonstrated in London against rising fuel prices.

The price of diesel at the pumps has risen by about 30% in the past 12 months, prompting protests by haulage companies nationwide that they are being driven out of business.


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