London haulier O’Donovan Waste Disposal has called on the government to overhaul EU drivers’ hours rules in the wake of Brexit to enable its drivers to work every Saturday.
MD Jacqueline O’Donovan told CM that tachograph regulations, while “of paramount importance” for long-haul journeys, hinder the efficiency of short-distance urban operations. She said they place an unnecessary restriction on local short-distance hauliers, who are working a 7am to 5pm job.
“Our drivers don’t work long shifts, or do extensive mileage, and therefore should be given the chance to work every Saturday, rather than the current stipulation that limits them to every other week,” O’Donovan said.
In the case of urban waste disposal, she added that relaxing the rules would enable work to be spread more evenly throughout the week, improving congestion.
“I am urging the government to consider amending the Transport Act 1968 – used to adopt the EU-made rules into UK law – to reflect this,” said O’Donovan. “The government needs to evaluate the laws that the EU has placed on the logistics industry and whether to keep any UK legislation that adopts EU-made rules.”
Liam Quinn, owner of Quinns Transport, agreed that flexibility and the application of common sense when it comes to drivers’ hours rules were overdue. “We need to take a radical look at the hours. We don’t want to return to the old times when drivers were working night and day. But with tachographs we could be smarter about their application.”
Quinn suggested moving from a fortnightly limit (90 hours) to a monthly one. In the case of seasonal or peak work it would allow a driver to do more when demand is higher.