The road transport industry has sent a joint letter to prime minister Boris Johnson pleading for extra help during the coronavirus pandemic to prevent “widescale business collapse that could reduce capacity by as much as 50%”.

The letter, written by the RHA and co-signed by five other bodies representing road transport, said: “The impact on the UK’s road haulage industry has been colossal. Whilst some hauliers, primarily those in food and medicine distribution are continuing to operate, other hauliers are now really suffering, particularly those whose businesses rely on the construction, removals, waste recycling, car transporting, retail, manufacturing, events and fuel sectors.

“Our latest intelligence from industry indicates that nearly 50% of lorries are now parked up. This is an industry with already very low profit margins, around 2%, and with customers extending their payment terms dramatically, the lack of cashflow is placing many in untenable positions.”

It calls on the government to urgently introduce a range of special measures for hauliers - on top of government support for all businesses - including a cash grant of £700 per truck per week to help cover fixed costs, rebates on VED and fuel duty, holidays on business rates and a weekly furlough scheme to increase flexibility for operators.

The letter has been signed by the RHA, the CILT, the Transport Association, the Cold Chain Federation, The British Association of Removers and the Association of Pallet Networks. Motor Transport understands that the FTA declined an invitation to co-sign the letter as feedback from its members indicated that they had other priorities when it came to the government support measures they wanted to see introduced.

Joint Industry Letter Final