The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has welcomed the move taken by the Department of Transport in the UK, on foot of IRHA-led lobbying for the enforcement of tachograph rules that govern drivers’ hours and working time, which have been relaxed for those affected by the disruption in Calais.
The IRHA, which is the Government-recognised body that promotes excellence, professionalism and safety in road haulage industry, made representations to its UK counterparts - the RHA calling for a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of Article 14, which came into effect at midnight last night.
The Department of Transport in the UK announced last night, July 29th, its agreement to a “temporary and limited, exceptional relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules”.
The temporary relaxation applies only to drivers whose journeys are delayed due to the industrial action or disruption at Calais.
Verona Murphy, President of the IRHA had repeatedly called on the Department of Transport in Ireland to take the decisive action to protect the livelihoods of the haulage sector which is worth over €4 billion to the Irish exchequer and is responsible for 50,000 jobs.
As part of her lobbying campaign Ms Murphy made representations to the RHA the representative body for hauliers in the UK seeking their lobbying support on the matter.
“We’ve fought a long and hard battle to have our voice heard in relation to the and continued enforcement of the tachograph rules despite the extraordinary situation and crisis in Calais.
“The enforcement of the rule was exacerbating the situation for drivers and haulage companies that were charged with fines of tens of thousands of euro for breaching their tachograph by desperately trying to make progress on their journey and escape the tense migrant zone of Calais as soon as they possibly could.
“It’s some relief to know that finally something has been done to ease the burden and alleviate the stress and financial strain that has been crippling drivers and haulage companies operating through Calais for several months.”
The enforcement of Article 14 meant that drivers queueing in tailbacks for hours on either side of the Eurotunnel were subject to huge fines as a result of moving their trucks during rest periods through no fault of their own.
The relaxation of the tachograph rule applies to drivers that have used a cross channel ferry or Eurotunnel to reach or leave Kent or are waiting within Kent for departure to mainland Europe for example.
For further comment contact IRHA President Ms Verona Murphy on 087 253 2720.