In response to requests from the dairy industry, the Department for Transport has, agreed to a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of the GB domestic drivers’ hours rules for drivers involved in the collection of raw milk from farms in Great Britain. This follows the recent severe weather events disrupting road transport across the country and the potential environmental impacts of disposal of surplus milk by farms.
This temporary relaxation applies from 00:01 on Sunday 4 March 2018 and will run until 23:59 on Monday 5 March 2018. The Department reserves the right to withdraw the relaxation earlier if circumstances change.
The Department wishes to make clear that driver safety must not be compromised. Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired - employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.
For the drivers and work in question, the GB domestic drivers’ hours rules will be temporarily relaxed as follows:-
Raising the daily driving limit from 10 hours to 11 hours.
Raising the daily duty limit from 11 hours to 12 hours.
All other requirements remain unchanged and will continue to be rigorously enforced. The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives.
The drivers in question must note on their record sheet (or tachograph charts or printouts, if applicable) 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 nature of the recent severe weather events across the country. The Department wishes to emphasise that, as a general rule, we expect business to plan for and manage the risks of disruption to supply chains.