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					YOUR DRIVER AND DRIVERS HOURS
Your driver plays a very important role in the smooth running of your trip. In most cases not only is he/she
driving but also navigating, caring for luggage on board and of course looking after the safety of the group
whilst on-board the coach.

DRIVERS HOURS
The number of hours any driver can actually drive on one session and over the course of each day need to be
taken into consideration when planning any itinerary. Our consultants have lots of experience in planning
effective itineraries so that you get the most from your visit whilst taking account of how many hours each day
your driver is working.

From April 2007, there have been major changes to the rules governing the work and rest patterns for coach
drivers operating tours and hires throughout Europe. The changes will have a significant impact on the
planning of tours in particular.

Maynes Coaches has produced this fact sheet to help group organisers plan effectively.

WHY ARE THE RULES CHANGING?
The law affecting coach drivers’ work is set by the European Union. The old rules had stood the test of time
over 20 years but are not compatible with the new digital tachographs now being introduced, and the
European Parliament wants to improve drivers’ working conditions. Whether the new rules will actually
achieve that objective is a moot point! But the rules ARE changing and we must all work within them.

DRIVING HOURS
There are no changes to the basic rule – drivers must take a break of 45 minutes after 4 ½ hours continuous
driving. However, that break can be split into two – the first of 15 minutes and the second of 30 minutes. The
old provision for 3 separate breaks of 15 minutes is abolished. Maximum driving remains 9 hours per day but
this can be extended to 10 hours twice a week. Total weekly driving is limited to 56 hours per week and 90
hours per fortnight.

DAILY REST
Normally this must be at least 11 hours, giving a maximum working day of 13 hours, but can be reduced to 9
hours not more than 3 times per week, to give a 15 hour day. Drivers of double manned coaches can be on
duty for up to 21 hours.

WEEKLY REST
Here’s where the big problem comes. In future, drivers will be required to take a weekly rest period after no
more than 6 days’ work. The existing so-called “12-day” rule is abolished. This means that one driver can no
longer operate a tour of more than 6 days without taking a full weekly rest period (normally 45 hours, but this
can be reduced to 24 hours once a fortnight provided the time is made up soon afterwards).

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The special derogation for drivers working away from their home base is also being withdrawn.

During the rest period, the driver cannot undertake any work at all, so cannot act as courier or perform any
other duties for the tour party. They cannot even travel home, as this counts as “other work”!

WORKING WITH THE NEW RULES
Multi-day tours will be particularly affected. Some ways to manage the changes include:
    Scheduling a “free” day during the tour when the coach and driver are not used.
    Paying for an additional driver to travel out to meet the tour coach, either to cover so that the regular
        driver can take their weekly rest period at the destination, or else to allow the first driver to return to
        base within their working week to take their weekly rest.

Either way, the cost of operating multi-day tours will increase – through no fault of the coach operator!

OBLIGATIONS OF TOUR OPERATORS
The new rules make tour organisers jointly liable with the operator for planning schedules that meet the law.

USEFUL TIP
It’s a good idea to either pre-book or at least discuss your activity plans with our consultant, to avoid situations
where you may wish to use your coach but cannot do so due to the driver having reached maximum permitted
hours during any individual 24 hour period. For advice on drivers hours, please speak to us.

GOOD COMMUNICATION
Your driver is an essential part of your team, making sure you get where you want to go, on time.
Communicating with and involving your driver in key discussions is often welcome by the driver who can share
his/her experience and knowledge where appropriate.

ON-BOARD SAFETY BRIEFING
Our driver will deliver a safety briefing prior to setting off on your journey. As our driver delivers the briefing
it’s worthwhile listening to this every time you join the coach as some coaches have different safety
information.

SAFETY WHEN DRIVING
The driver’s number one priority is getting you and your group safely to your destination. Whilst on the move,
please ensure members of your group know not disturb your driver.

DRIVER CRB AND POLICE CHECKS
Maynes Coaches only employ professional drivers that have received appropriate clearance from the Criminal
Records Bureau or Scottish Criminal Records Office.


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