Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Forth Bridge Closure Leads to Revised Hours for Road Haulage Freight Drivers

Temporary Adjustment to Allow for Repairs to be Made
Shipping News Feature
UK – The unprecedented closure of the Forth Road Bridge due to a crack in the steelwork has led to an instant response from the Department for Transport (DfT) announcing a relaxation in drivers’ hours until 6 January whilst repairs are underway. The move was welcomed by road haulage operators and freight groups as a common sense move coming as it does at the busiest time of the year.

Avoiding the bridge means a 50 mile detour to cross via the Kincardine Bridge and full details of the DfT regulation change is viewable here. It is imperative that drivers note on the rear of tachograph charts or digital printouts why they have exceeded normal hours which allow up to 2 extra hours per day, not to exceed 66 instead of 56 hours per week or 110 hours per fortnight, as opposed to the normal 90. Driving time breaks are unaffected and of course nobody should drive, or be asked to drive, when tired.

Tailbacks up to eleven miles have been reported at the Kincardine Bridge in the past few days and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) provided information from its members in its request to relax the driving hours as did the Road Haulage Association (RHA). Chris MacRae, FTA’s Head of Policy for Scotland, said:

“The bridge closure makes it impossible in some cases for deliveries to be made on time so this relaxation will help Scottish industry, exporters and consumers in the busy run-up to Christmas. No time of year would be good for this to happen, but Christmas is particularly challenging and it’s bound to have a knock-on effect of delays and additional costs in the rest of the UK. We need to get the bridge open to HGVs as soon as possible to ease the disruption, this shows just how critical it is to our national transport infrastructure.”