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DfT lifts drivers’ hours limits for fuel tanker operators after Grangemouth strike

  • 25 February 2013
  • By derren hayes

The Department for Transport (DfT) has temporarily lifted hours rules for fuel tanker drivers to help forecourts and airports in Scotland and northern England replenish stocks after the strike by BP drivers at Grangemouth refinery.

The emergency order, effective immediately, means EU drivers’ hours rules will be temporarily relaxed to allow 11 instead of nine hours of driving per day; a reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to nine hours; and extended weekly and fortnightly driving limits.

Weekly rest requirements can also be postponed until after the emergency order ends at 11.59pm on Thursday 28 February.

The DfT said the requirement to take a 45-minute break after 4.5 hours driving remains and will continue to be enforced, but working time rules have also been relaxed to allow drivers to work 66 instead of the usual 60 hours maximum.

Northern England covers deliveries to the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and North West (including Cheshire, west and south Yorkshire, and North and north-east Lincolnshire council areas).


The move followed a 72-hour stoppage by 42 BP drivers based at Grangemouth that started last Friday morning (LINK NEEDED).

The drivers, members of the Unite union, were protesting over changes to terms and conditions of 15 drivers working on the aviation contract, which transfers to DHL on 4 March.

Unite says the drivers will lose thousands of pounds in pension and share benefits in the move to DHL.

A DHL spokeswoman adds: “Following Unite’s vote in favour of strike action at Grangemouth, contingency plans have been put in place to minimise disruption to customers and ensure safe deliveries to forecourts.”


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