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The Road Haulage Association has claimed that some 46% of commercial vehicles in the UK are ‘parked up’ – with 25% of commercial vehicle drivers furloughed – in a letter to the prime minister called for further financial support for the road transport sector.

The letter, also co-signed by the Cold Chain Federation, the Association of Pallet Networks, the CILT, British Association of Removers and Transport Association, also claims that business collapses in the sector could lead to a serious reduction, some 50%, in road transport capacity.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett

It sets out a series of measures to help firms get through the pandemic and into a ‘recovery phase’ in order to main critical and vulnerable supply chains.

“At this time of national emergency our sector is doing everything it can to ensure critical supplies get to where they need to be,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.

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“We recognise that we need to play the fullest role possible in the UK’s recovery and these measures would ensure we can do just that.”

The letter calls on the prime minister to grant a business rates ‘holiday’ for all hauliers’ sites to bring them into line with other sectors and reduce fixed costs; weekly Statutory Off Road Notification ( SORN ) refunds to help firms reduce standing costs and enable them to bring fleets back online quicker than current monthly model; immediate grants and debt support for struggling firms; a fuel duty rebate for essential users to reduce burden on cashflows and a weekly furlough model to improve flexibility, reduce costs and ensure staff remain available.