With pump prices rising ever higher, pressure is building on the Chancellor to act on duty in the Budget on March 20.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: "The Chancellor must take swift action to cancel the proposed duty rise in September and cut this damaging tax which restricts economic recovery and adds to inflation."

He added that the price rises reinforced calls for the Government to address failures by the OFT to act on manipulation of the market.

The Road Haulage Association added to the calls for action on duty after its latest weekly fuel price survey showed diesel is less than one pence off the all-time high.

RHA manager of logistics development, Nick Deal, said: "To help the industry to make the profit that is essential to survival, if ever there was a time for the Chancellor to act on fuel duty, that time is now."