The motor industry has strongly lobbied the Government to withdraw the rise in fuel duty and AA president Edmund King said Osborne had seen sense on the issue.

Earlier this month Conservative MP Robert Halfon tabled a motion in the House of Commons urging action to put the brakes on fuel price hikes after an e-petition attracted 110,000 signatures.

According to the AA, diesel has risen in price from around 80p per litre in 2000 to its current price of over 140p per litre.

The Fuelcard Company has called for fuel duty to be abolished and replaced by the wider use of congestion charge schemes in order to cut down on the number of private motorists making short, urban journeys rather than penalising commercial drivers with fuel duty.