Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire

Prospects for transport in Yorkshire moving in the right direction

New research from R3, the insolvency and restructuring trade body, shows that a lower proportion of transport businesses in Yorkshire experienced an elevated risk of insolvency in May compared with the previous month.

The proportion of transport companies in the region deemed to be at higher than average risk of insolvency fell by 1.4% from April to May, the biggest fall of the 11 key sectors tracked by R3. Of the over 7,000 active businesses in the transport sector in Yorkshire, nearly 3,400 are currently in the higher risk category. This represents 48% of transport businesses in the region, still markedly higher than the sector average across the UK of 43%. The strongest performances in transport were seen in Northern Ireland (34.2% at higher than usual risk) and in Scotland (37.2%).

Looking across all business sectors, R3 found that in Yorkshire he proportion of businesses at elevated risk was flat between April and May. In fact, construction, technology & IT, restaurants and retail had also seen falling levels of companies at higher than average risk in the region. Of the over 225,000 active businesses in Yorkshire, nearly 100,000 are deemed to be at higher risk, representing 44.3% of businesses in the region. This is only slightly higher than the national average of higher risk businesses which is 42.7%.

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and a barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, said: “It’s been a tough few years for the transport sector in Yorkshire. As well as the challenges it has traditionally faced, such as concern about emissions and driver shortages, it is now also having to cope with the potential uncertainty and disruption of the UK’s departure from the EU. Given this scenario, it is encouraging to see that transport businesses in Yorkshire appear to be fighting back, with slightly falling levels of businesses at higher than normal risk over recent months.

“However, transport remains a fiercely competitive sector, at the mercy of fluctuations in the price of fuel, and it is, therefore, vital that businesses keep a close eye on cashflow and seek professional help at the first signs of financial trouble. While the picture in the region appears to be slowly improving, levels of transport businesses at elevated risk remain higher than in many other parts of the UK.”

R3 uses research compiled from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database of company information to track the number of businesses in key regional sectors that have a heightened risk of entering insolvency in the next year.

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