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The RHA’s claims of a “breakthrough” in its talks with ministers for extra support for the industry may come too late for many, as its own survey reveals thousands are now at risk of going bust.

Responses to its surveys from companies running from one up to more than 50 HGVs show that 73% have significantly reduced or worse cashflow and 83% report significantly reduced or worse volumes.

In addition, 15% said they had applied for a CBIL loan, but the vast majority - 95% - of these have had their applications rejected by banks or other lenders.

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Recent research from the FTA revealed that a fifth of its members are in danger of financial collapse within the next eight weeks, but only 5% had been successful with their CBILS applications.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett described its survey results as “a staggering snapshot” and many companies were finding it difficult to remain open: “Struggling firms need help through sustainable measures such as debt support and more flexible furlough rules to pull them through the recovery effort and beyond,” he said.

The survey results came just days after the RHA said there were now signs from the government that it finally understood the scale of the problem currently facing hauliers and weeks of frustrating talks with ministers.