FARM LEADERS have joined forces with representatives from the haulage and flour milling industries to find ways to reduce the impact of the Working Time Directive for mobile workers.
 
The Agricultural Industries Confederation, National Association of Agricultural Contractors, nabim, National Farmers Union and Road Haulage Association have all met to consider the impact of new rules which apply from March 2005.
 
From that date, HGV drivers‘ average working week and night time shift will be considerably reduced.

The agricultural supply industry is heavily reliant on efficient road transport and there is a fear the new rules will add to the problems already created by a shortage of drivers.

The group agreed that measures such as the following will help to reduce the impact of the upcoming working time restrictions:
 
• Farmers (or their representatives) being in attendance when a haulier visits;
• Hauliers arriving at farms and delivery points on time and with correct documentation;
• Merchants ensuring that grain of the correct variety and quality is delivered;
• Merchants making adequate arrangements to deal with any problems outside normal office hours;
• Customers facilitating quicker turnaround at delivery points.
 
The group has also agreed that industry will continue to press the Department for Transport (DfT) for flexibility in the implementation of the directive.

A second consultation of the full text of the new regulations is due out in early July 2004