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Roads: Salt

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he has approved proposals to amend limits on drivers’ hours for the purposes of facilitating the distribution of salt and grit supplies. (310382)

[holding answer 12 January 2010]: Ministers issued delegated authority prior to the Christmas period on a conditional basis to named senior officials to issue relaxations to the EU drivers’ hours rules for the distribution of road salt.

However, a request was not submitted to the Department for Transport by industry until 7 January. A relaxation to the enforcement of the EU drivers’ hours rules was issued and notified to stakeholders on the same afternoon under the delegated authority provided to officials.

The driving time limits and duty limits for ‘gritters’, which fall in scope of the domestic drivers’ hours rules, can be automatically suspended in emergency events such as severe and prolonged adverse weather conditions. Local authorities are aware of this provision and are using it, where absolutely necessary, accordingly.