Rail union calls for legal limit on driver hours

Train
drivers working hours should be limited by law, according to their union Aslef.

Currently
there is no legal limit, and the union has told the Government that tired train
drivers are putting commuters at risk.

The
union said drivers should work no more than 44 hours in any seven-day period,
10 hours in any one day or eight hours overnight. Aslef also said the annual
average working week should be less than 35 hours.

The
proposal would give train drivers the same legal protection as bus and lorry
drivers.

Aslef
general secretary Mick Rix said 95 MPs had expressed support for the changes.

"This
is a major safety issue, since a tired driver can suffer from lapses of
concentration," he said. "It is worse than absurd that train drivers
have no legal limit on the hours they can work. It is a hazard to the travelling
public."

He
said it was not uncommon for drivers to work 13 hour days, with some on duty
for nearly 24, due to the pressures of overtime and driver shortages.

"I
would urge every MP to support our campaign and ministers to introduce
legislation setting a reasonable limit at the earliest opportunity," he
said.

By Quentin Reade

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