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Bob Borthwick, a director of Stockton-based haulage, plant hire and recycling specialists Scott Bros, welcomed the freeze on HGV excise duty and a planned rise in fuel duty.

He said: “Our costs have risen dramatically in recent months due to the soaring price of fuel, so anything that prevent overheads rising further is a relief to a wide-range of businesses that are transport reliant.

“We are investing heavily in the circular economy and in recycling and reusing materials in the construction industry and recently began work on a £4m wash plant to increase production of sustainably sourced sand and aggregate, so I was heartened by the Chancellor’s pledge to provide extra funding for research and development and green technologies.

“However, I hope smaller companies such as our own, which are at the forefront of such innovation, will be in a position to access this cash.”

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