An NFRN petition calling for an independent review of carriage charge has been signed by 1,000 shop owners.

The campaign – titled ‘Enough’s Enough’ points out that charges have increased by 20% since 2013 and predicts that news sellers will close in “great numbers”, increasing the decline in the news and magazines category.

NFRN national president Mike Mitchelson said: “In just one month we have been deluged with petition cards showing the real strength of feeling behind these pernicious charges.” He described the lack of interest from wholesalers on the impact of carriage charge increases as ‘disgusting’ and showing ‘huge naivety’.

The response comes as Menzies customers prepare to absorb a 4% average carriage charge increase which will begin in April.

Both Smiths News and Menzies claim the carriage charges are necessary to cover the cost of delivering newspapers and magazines to stores. Connect Group, owners of Smiths News announced a £28.4million adjusted profit before tax in 2018. In newly announced results by Menzies PLC, the firm states its distribution arm made

£13.6m in profit after tax for the months in the 2018 financial year before it was sold off.

 Do it: Click here to add your voice to the petition