Following calls between RHA chief executive Richard Burnett and Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, the Department for Transport has announced that the current limited Drivers’ Hours relaxation will apply to all road haulage operations from 00.01hrs on Monday 23 March until 23.59hrs on Tuesday 21 April 2020.
This is a further recognition of the importance of road freight in providing all that is needed to keep our shops, hospitals, manufacturers and the rest of economy moving during the coronavirus pandemic by relaxing the Drivers’ Hours regulations.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said:
“This is a blanket relaxation covering all sectors and recognises how integrated and inter-dependent supply chains are across the whole economy. The sector is working as efficiently and as quickly possible.
“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 will not reduce the levels of enforcement of the drivers hours. It is vital that companies only use these relaxed rules when needed and companies must monitor drivers to ensure they do not drive tired or in any way unfit. The need compliance with the rules is absolute. This relaxation must be used wisely, not abused recklessly.
Concluding, Richard Burnett said: “This is another great example of the close working relationship that we have established with Grant Shapps and his team. When it comes to providing them with ‘grass roots’ industry knowledge, I am pleased that they are sufficiently confident in our understanding of the industry that we are its first port of call.”