The UK’s Department for Transport has agreed to a temporary, and limited, emergency relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours and working time rules for drivers of fuel tankers engaged in the delivery of petrol or diesel within Great Britain.

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This temporary relaxation starts from 00.01 on Friday 30 March 2012 and continues until 23:59 on 05 April 2012.

It applies only to drivers involved in the delivery of petrol or diesel within Great Britain.

Now click below for the relaxed drivers’ hours rules…

If circumstances change the Department may withdraw the relaxation earlier.

For the drivers and work in question, the EU drivers’ hours rules will be temporarily become:

  • Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours
  • Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours
  • Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limit (90 hours)
  • Postponing the weekly rest requirement until 23:59 Thursday 05 April 2012, at which stage a driver has to take a minimum rest of 24 hours (with no compensatory rest required)

The requirement to take a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced.

The enforcement of working time rules has also been relaxed for this period to allow drivers to work up to 66 hours instead of the usual 60 hour weekly maximum. This extra time should be recorded, but does not count for the purposes of determining average working time.

The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives.

The Department also wishes to make clear that driver safety must not be jeopardised.

Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired – employers remain responsible for the safety of their employees and other road users.

The drivers in question must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits. This is usual practice in emergencies and is, of course, essential for enforcement purposes.

The temporary relaxation of the rules described above reflects the exceptional circumstances of potential strike action affecting road transport fuel supplies.

The Department wishes to emphasise that, as a general rule, it expects business to plan for, and manage, the risks of disruption to supply chains.

Tachoblog’s thanks to the Freight Transport Association for advising us of the exact changes.

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