Road transport operators appear to be keeping staff remuneration under control as the UK's ponderous recovery unfolds, with just a quarter having granted pay rises to their employees in the past 12 months.

A survey of SMEs on behalf of Close Brothers Asset Finance, albeit covering 550 companies from across the business spectrum, also revealed that where pay increases were awarded by the road transport operators within the overall sample, less than half (40%) were above the rate of inflation.

With things for the UK economy and those moving its goods remaining delicate at present, Less than 20% of transport firms anticipate giving staff a pay rise during the next 12 months to boot.

John Fawcett, MD of the transport division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said that while a return even small scale pay rises had to be seen as good news in general for the industry, demonstrating a return to health of sorts, it remained far from rosy.

"Almost a quarter of transport firms have been declined access to bank lending in the past six months, and almost a fifth have admitted that while they have identified opportunities for growth, they have been unable to take advantage of them due to a lack of adequate funding," he said of the survey's other findings.

  • The research was released as the latest employment figures revealed the UK's unemployed total fell by 4,000 people between April and June to stand at 2.51 million. However, youth unemployment actually climbed to stand at just shy of a million.