People urged to take part in survey

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North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes is encouraging business people to take part in a survey that assesses the impact of unfair delivery charges on local firms.

The survey, conducted by Citizens Advice Scotland, is the first of its kind assessing the impact of high delivery charges on businesses in rural parts of Scotland - having previously targeted individual consumers only.

Mrs McInnes said: “This survey could help to achieve the change to delivery policies that we want to see. Whenever the issue of high delivery charges is raised it almost exclusively focuses on individual consumers. What this survey will seek to gather instead is the views of businesses and their experiences of how they have been affected.

“In speaking to people who have been hit by high delivery charges, I know that some have decided to return to the local high street for their shopping. With this there comes opportunity for the local economy, however it may be the case that businesses suffer to the same extent as individual consumers. The results from the survey will help us to get to grips with this important and complex issue.”

Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Margaret Lynch said: “In 2011/2012 we collected evidence from more than 3,000 Scots, and published research which found that delivery firms applied huge additional charges to postcode areas that included one million Scots – not just in the far north but across much of the country. “Until now we have mainly focused on the impact this has on individual consumers. But we have also been contacted by many businesses, particularly small businesses.

The important delivery charge survey can be found by visiting The survey is open until 5 p.m. on Friday (March 14).