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Drivers’ hours relaxations extended


Last week, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the two relaxations to enforcement of drivers’ hours rules due to lapse last Friday (22 January 2021), would be extended until one minute to midnight on 31 March 2021.

The exemptions cover drivers who fall into two main categories. The first is for anyone driving in Great Britain (GB) under the EU drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road where it is deemed necessary. The second is for anyone driving under the EU drivers’ hours rules involved in the international carriage of goods by road or the carriage of goods between GB and Northern Ireland.

DfT stresses that a driver may only make use of one of the relaxations and it is worth noting that there are significant differences between the two. For example, operators are required to formally notify DfT prior to using the relaxation for use in GB and must report how it has been used one week after the end of the relaxation period.

James Firth, Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy, Logistics UK, said: “Feedback from members has indicated that the relaxations, which were designed to support pressures in the run up to the Christmas peak and the end of the Brexit transition period, have been used sparingly by employers. Operators will often not know they need a relaxation until the problem is upon them – for example if a number of drivers in an area suddenly go into isolation; having the relaxation in place up but requiring operators to notify DfT when they use it is a pragmatic approach to the current situation.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/brexit

Published On: 28/01/2021 15:30:34

 

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