Wholesalers maintain that the delivery of goods should not be penalised if government plans to replace road tax and petrol duty with road charging go ahead.

Under the proposals, which could be piloted within five years and rolled out nationally in 10, each driver would be charged for every mile of his or her journey on a sliding scale depending on how busy the road is and whether the journey is during the rush hour. The scheme would also mean the scrapping of road tax and cuts in fuel tax.

Sugro UK managing director Philip Jenkins said: “The movement of goods is the lifeblood of the UK’s economy. The plan requires considerable consultation with groups like ourselves.”