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Road Transport Working Time Directive

Comment 5th July 2010

The recent decision by the European Parliament to extend the scope of the Working Time Directive to include self employed haulage contractors is the most repressive piece of legislation ever conceived. Our industry is already subject to drivers hours rules which any fair minded person can understand and fully support. The WTD however is a huge step beyond this. In effect we are now regulated as to the total hours we can work which includes administative tasks as well as driving. For an industry which survives on very tight margins as a result of high rates of fuel duty, this restriction may be more than the sector can survive. So much is said today about human rights, but what about the right of an individual to work to provide for their family and acheive success within their career. It would be easier to accept these rules if it were possible to understand the basis for there introduction. Is it road safety, surely that is what drivers hours are designed to acheive. Is it job creation, to ensure that it takes two people to achieve what one is doing already. All businesses are constantly being challenged to improve operating efficiency, the WTD can only be viewed as a means to further complicate and diminish this objective. At a time when all sectors are being asked to achieve more results from less resourses, this legislation can only be counter productive.

Why does this matter?

The Working Time Directive is simply a beaurocratic nonsence handed down from Brussels. It adds further costs and unnecessary red tape to an industry already very highly regulated.

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