The Freight Transport Association has welcomed new advice from the Department for Transport which confirms that door-to-door collections of waste from commercial premises are excluded from drivers' hours requirements. The interpretation is dependent on the waste collected from such commercial premises, or public street bins, being similar or the same as that collected from households. Journeys should not be more than 50 kilometres from where the vehicle is normally based.
On behalf of its local authority members, and contractors to those local authorities, FTA had argued that the exemption from drivers' hours regulations for domestic waste collections should not be lost in the event that the same vehicles also collected similar waste, from the same streets, in the same vehicles.
FTA Policy Director James Hookham said, 'This is a victory for common sense – the practical flexibility provided by the exemption for household collections should clearly be extended to collecting similar commercial waste in the same vehicles on the same routes. Any other interpretation would have resulted in more costs, wasted fuel, increased carbon dioxide emissions and reduced efficiency. All for no significant gain in safety.
'FTA will be working with the Department for Transport and the European Commission to ensure that the environmental and efficiency consequences of future legislation are recognised.'
FTA represents the transport interests of over 75 per cent of the local authorities throughout the UK and large numbers of contractors supplying services to those local authorities.