Drivers’ hours relaxation extended to all road haulage operations24 March 2020

Following calls between RHA chief executive Richard Burnett and transport secretary Grant Shapps, the Department for Transport has announced that the current limited drivers’ hours relaxation will now apply to all road haulage operations from 23 March until 21 April 2020.

The previous relaxation of enforcement only applied to transport operations in supermarket supply chains.

“This is a blanket relaxation covering all sectors and recognises how integrated and interdependent supply chains are across the whole economy,” said Richard Burnett.

“This relaxation improves resilience in a way that ensure all goods can reach the area where they are needed.

“Shortages are not the problem at the moment – the problem lies with supplying the current excess demand for goods caused by panic buying. This just creates bottlenecks that undermine efficient delivery schedules.”

The relaxation in hours should only be used when needed, he stressed, and operators must monitor drivers to ensure they are fit to drive: “The need for compliance with the rules is absolute. This relaxation must be used wisely, not abused recklessly,” he added.

Laura Cork

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