The Driver-Guides Association is the national professional association of private blue badge tourist guides who undertake tours in their own cars
The National Professional Association of Blue Badge Driver-Guides
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Individual Guided Tours of London and the UK by Private Car Driven by Blue Badge Guides


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European Working Time Directive:
Road Transport

(See also A Communication from the Commission "Concerning the organisation of working time for mobile workers performing road transport activities and for self-employed drivers". Extracts and links)

This page contains information published by the DGA in date order.
The latest information is at the bottom of the page

3. March 1999
The requirement for driver-guides to have three PHV licences may not be the end of it. Bob Hornsey sent us a cutting from a trade magazine about proposals published by the European Commission for introducing limits on the working time of mobile workers and self employed drivers.

This would apply to private hire drivers. "Working" means driving, loading and unloading, supervising passenger boarding and alighting, cleaning vehicles and other work connected with the vehicle including any maintenance.

There is no indication of the maximum working day, but the absolute maximum for affected workers will be 60 hours per week and subject to not exceeding an average of 48 hours per week over a four-month period. An uninterrupted 11 hours rest must be taken after each day's work. After 6 consecutive days a rest period of no less than 36 hours must be taken.

These are only proposals and are up for discussion but it seems that they will not go away nor be radically altered. Indeed I have heard that Neil Kinnock is promoting the adoption of these regulations with some vigour. The DGA has written to Glenda Jackson, Neil Kinnock, Sir Leon Brittan (the European Commissioners) and opposition spokesmen and will continue to pursue this matter.

29 April 1999
In a reply to our letter to Glenda Jackson, Lord Whitty has confirmed that our information about the proposals is correct but did not give any indication of the government's position.

4 May 1999
A letter was sent to Lord Whitty requesting clarification of the government's position.

20 May 1999
A reply was received from Bernard Jenkin MP Shadow Minister for Transport in which he said that the "Conservative Party, both in London and in Europe, have been and will be opposing the extension of the Working Time Directive to mobile workers particularly those who are self-employed. . . . this directive is typical Brussels red tape, which predictably we in the UK will try to apply but everyone else in Europe will ignore. The Conservatives oppose this directive . . "

20 May 1999
Alisdair McIntosh wrote on behalf of Sir Leon Brittan who, he said, has a great deal of sympathy with our concerns. He understands that a significant number of Member States have expressed serious reservations about its application to small operators and to the self-employed; and that the proposal is therefore unlikely to be approved in its current form.

29. May 1999
Lord Whitty responded with an assurance that "we are actively pursuing our concerns not only in those discussions, but also in bilateral discussions with other member states . . . . any final agreement will, to some extent, of necessity be a compromise."
"I can however say that we are concerned with the scope of the proposal, the limits included for the maximum weekly limit, provisions on night work and the lack of an individual's right, as contained in the existing Directive, to work longer than the average weekly limit if they so choose to do so (but of course with the necessary safeguard against being pressed to do so if they choose not to)."

This page will be updated as matters develop.

The Driver-Guides Association is the National Professional Association for Blue Badge Driver-Guides
With members in London and throughout the United Kingdom

Site by Peter Jamieson