A rescue Land Rover, due for a tax rise to more than £400A Cumbria MP is to meet a Treasury minister to plead for a tax exemption for mountain rescuers.

A rescue Land Rover, due for a tax rise to more than £400

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, will put the case for rescue teams’ vehicles to be exempt from road tax when he meets Angela Eagle, the Treasury minister in charge of excise. Mr Farron said the move would save mountain rescue £40,000 a year.

He welcomed the upcoming meeting, saying: “I am delighted that I along with representatives of mountain rescue in Cumbria and nationally have been invited to discuss exemption for their vehicles with ministers at the highest level.”

All Britain’s mountain rescue teams are staffed by volunteers on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They are financed mostly by donations and fundraising events.

Road tax on a typical Land Rover, as used by many mountain rescue teams, will rise to £440 next year, and is planned to rise a further £15 the following year.

Last year, Mr Farron praised the teams for the part they played after the Grayrigg rail accident. He said: “The mountain rescue service performs an invaluable job.

“This was never more obvious than after the train derailment at Grayrigg in February. The mountain rescue service was able to access the site quickly and easily because of the nature of their vehicles, and it would be disastrous if the service had to shut up shop because of excessive VED [vehicle excise duty] charges.”