Richard Burnett lectern Oct18

The Department for Transport has announced that the current limited drivers’ hours relaxation will be extended until 23.59hrs on Tuesday 21 April 2020 and apply to all road haulage operations.

The move follows discussions between RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (pictured) and secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps.

“This is a blanket relaxation covering all sectors," Burnett said, "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 ensures 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 for compliance with the rules is absolute. This relaxation must be used wisely, not abused recklessly.

“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.”