300 jobs lost as Leeds transport firm goes bust

(Yorkshire Post) -- A Leeds transport firm has gone bust with the loss of around 300 jobs. Macfarlane Transport is a victim of spiralling fuel costs which have left the £20m business unsustainable.

Joint administrators from accountants KPMG were appointed on Wednesday at the request of the firm's directors but were unable to sell the business as a going concern. It has now ceased trading.

Administrator Richard Fleming said: "It's very unfortunate that this long established business has been unable to survive and that large-scale redundancies will, inevitably, be a result."

He said the business had been hit by rising fuel prices and a competitive marketplace which had put its margins "under unsustainable pressure".

Every 1p increase in the price of fuel adds £600 a year to the cost of driving a lorry, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA). The cost of diesel is around £1.30 a litre.

Leeds Chamber of Commerce executive director, Ian Williams, said: "This is one of the first high-profile businesses in the haulage sector that's gone under but underlines how tough things are at the moment in the transport industry."