Yesterday a notice went up at work regarding driving hours. It was posted by the Union Rep who it would appear has not done his homework, naughty boy. He is giving his members what I concider unsafe advice based on his belief that 5 1/2 hours is the maximum a bus driver can drive for before he must take a break. Not so, the Depatment for Transport offer two choices for continuous driving limits. The bit in red is a direct copy taken from the Department for Transport, Vehicle & Operator Services Agency
Domestic Driving Limits for PCV Drivers
10 hours on any working day
Cumulative or continuous Driving
5 ½ hours- after this, a break of at least 30 minutes must be taken in which the driver is able to obtain rest and refreshment;
or within any period of 8 ½ hours in the working day, total breaks amounting to at least 45 minutes are taken so that the driver does not drive for more than seven and three quarter hours. The driver must in addition have a break of at least 30 minutes to obtain rest or refreshment at the end of this period unless it is the end of the working day.
What this means in practice is if you start driving at 06:00 and are due to have a break at 10:30 and you arrive in Paignton and are asked to take the bus to Newton and back you can. You arrive back in Paignton at 12:30 and have driven for 6 ½ hours. Now some time before 14:30 you must have 45 minutes break which you now take. So at 13:15 you go out driving again. At 14:30 (the end of the 8 ½ hour period) you must now take a break of 30 minutes.
If you are asked to drive over 5 ½ hours in the second half of your duty then you must have a break of 45 minutes, and be paid for that break.
Do keep a record of any driving and breaks that you take if you are asked to drive beyond the more usual limit of 5 ½ hours and under no circumstances drive beyond 10 hours in a day. If you are coming up to this limit please give control at least one hours warning, don’t just drive for 10 hours, pull up half down Pimlico and get on the radio and announce that you are out of hours and could they send a driver down to move the bus as you are blocking up the town.