Brexit: Respecting drivers’ working conditions

Road Transport between the UK and the Continent is essential with millions of people depending on the transport of goods. Professional drivers are the critical human factor ensuring that these exchanges take place every day. But, unless they are guaranteed a smooth border crossing and a prompt and regular return home, less and less of them will be willing to transport goods and people across the Channel.

In December truck drivers were stuck on each side of the Channel, exposed to plight and misery, with no access to food and facilities. Long queues impacted their work schedules, rest conditions and threatened cargo and self-security in an area with vast unsolved migrant issues. The challenges of COVID, coupled with those of Brexit, proved to be difficult to address.

After intensive negotiations, the EU and the UK reached an agreement on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union. Now comes the practicalities – many commercial vehicles are pulled over before crossing the border due to incomplete paperwork. In addition, due to the ongoing pandemic, drivers now have to be tested before leaving the UK.

The ETF Road Section is keeping a close eye on developments. Waiting times at borders will still be an issue well into 2021. We will be working to ensure:

  1. The wellbeing of our professional drivers
  2. Our drivers are safe from attacks;
  3. Their return home as opposed to being stuck in their vehicles in border regions.

To make our appeal and their rights even more visible, the ETF has designed posters that can be displayed by drivers in the vehicle windscreen – in printed copy or on tablets. These posters remind the public, the control authorities, and the policy makers that drivers have rights regarding working time and rest conditions. The posters can be downloaded at your right.

Behind every wheel, there is a human being on whose right to rest we all depend!

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