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Temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours

The Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to a temporary relaxation of EU drivers’ hours rules to help drivers that are delayed due to industrial action or disruption at Calais with the following criteria:

  • Have used a cross channel ferry or Eurotunnel to reach or leave Kent
  • Are waiting within Kent for departure to mainland Europe
  • Are driving a commercial vehicle operated from an operating centre in Kent and whose journey has been disrupted

The relaxation is not available for other commercial vehicle drivers in Kent and is not available for international journeys that do not pass through Kent.

The DfT has replaced the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours, and reduced the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours. The requirement to take a 45 minute break after 4½ hours driving remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced.

The enforcement of working time rules has NOT been relaxed for this period.

The relaxed rules apply from Thursday, July 30 for a period of 30 days at times when Operation Stack is in place.

Operation Stack is a procedure used by Kent Police and the Port of Dover in England to park (or “stack”) HGVs on the M20 in Kent when services across the English Channel are disrupted, for example by bad weather, industrial action etc.

The DfT reserves the right to withdraw or suspend the relaxation earlier if circumstances change with less than 24 hours’ notice.

For help in managing your drivers’ hours see Smartanalysis.

Source DfT Guidance.

Posted on: 30.07.2015

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