A variety of legislation controls the hours of work of bus, coach and lorry drivers engaged in the carriage of goods and passengers in the UK and continental Europe. The main sets of rules that may apply are:

  • European Council Regulation 561/2006, which came into effect in April 2007

  • European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews Engaged in International Road Transport (more commonly known as the AETR Regulations)

  • Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations — introduced in April 2005 specifically to implement the Road Transport Directive.

The EU Regulation and the AETR are largely aligned and this means that the same rules apply to vehicles in scope whether in the UK, the EU or any other AETR country. This topic focuses on drivers working under those rules. Areas where the AETR currently differs from the EU rules are weekly rest and deviations from the rules in unforeseen circumstances. These areas are highlighted in this topic.

Most drivers who are not covered by these rules will have to comply with the British Domestic Hours Rules in the Transport Act 1968 and the Working Time Regulations 1998. These are covered in separate topics.

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