New restrictions on drivers hours

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Lorry drivers will be limited to a five day working week on alternate weeks from 2007, the European Union has decided. Under new drivers hours rules, drivers will have to take a 45 hour weekly rest in any two weeks.

Already the move has brought complaints from the Freight Transport Association which warned that it would seriously damage productivity.

However, a proposal to increase the daily rest period from 11 to 12 hours has been abandoned as a result of industry lobbying as has a proposed complex incremental table for breaks from driving. This has been replaced with a compromise solution where the 45 minute break can be replaced by one break of 15 minutes followed by a further break of 30 minutes taken during and at the end of four and a half hours driving

Joan Williams, FTA head of road freight policy, said: “While FTA is very disappointed by this decision on the weekly rest, it is important to remember that this is actually an improvement on the original proposal that would have completely put an end to reducing weekly rest at base. This is only one of a number of areas where extensive lobbying successfully minimised the worst effects of damaging proposals.”

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