Smiths News has announced a 2.1% increase in its carriage charges due to take effect on 2 September, prompting fresh calls from the NFRN to remove the charges altogether.

The change will subject more than 12,000 retailers to an average increase of 91p in their weekly bills, costing the average Smiths News customer up to £47.32 more per year.

Addressing the increase, NFRN national president Mike Mitchelson said: “It’s time carriage charges are scrapped completely. Come September, some retailers will pay nearly £60 a week for their newspapers and magazines to be supplied. How are they expected to make money from the category when these rip-off charges are increased annually with no prior consultation with the retailers involved?”

Jack Bhatt, from Universal Newsagents in Highbury Station in north London, told RN the increase would cost him £72 per year. He said: “This increase will add £1.40 a week to my bills, but their service level is so appalling that I don’t know how they can even justify increasing the carriage charges at all.”

Read more: Smiths News carriage charge increase “rip off”