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Are bus drivers working unsafe hours and putting the public at risk?

Matt Western, Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington writing in The House – Parliaments Magazine, presents his case to bring drivers’ hours for local routes in line with a long-distance bus and HGV drivers.

The British laws which regulate bus drivers’ hours on local routes (less than 50km) limit driving to 10 hours a day, with no weekly or fortnightly limit except that in any two consecutive weeks there must be at least one period of 24 hours off duty. This means it is legal for a local bus driver to drive 130 hours over a period of two weeks.

Under EU law however, a long-distance bus driver or lorry driver cannot drive more than 56 hours a week, or more than 90 hours over any two consecutive weeks.

Mr Western highlights a tragic case from 2015 when a bus crashed into a shop in Coventry City. The crash killed two people including a seven year old child. Indeed, it could have been much worse but for the brave actions of a local man who warned shoppers about the path of the bus. The 77 year old driver had been involved in four crashes in three years. Controllers were told to limit his shifts to just a few hours per week. However, the company still let the driver work an irresponsibly high number of hours leading up to the day of the crash, regularly working more than 60 hours a week.

With a no-deal Brexit looming driver shortages likely to get worse and operators will be seeking to get the maximum out of drivers. Is it time to put the same EU limits on bus drivers on routes of less than 50km?

You can read Matt Western’s full article on www.politicshome.com.

For help in managing GB Domestic and EU drivers’ hours, see Smartanalysis.

 

Posted on: 21.02.2019

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