HL Deb 23 October 2000 vol 618 cc10-1WA
Lord Berkeley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a train driver would be permitted under current regulations to drive for 13 hours with only a mid-shift break. [HL4215]

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston)

The Railway (Safety Critical Work) Regulations 1994 require train operating companies (TOCs) to ensure that train drivers do not work for such a period that could cause fatigue and put safety at risk. Any changes to existing limits on working times would require a risk assessment to be carried out by the train operating company. The Health and Safety Executive also makes routine inspections to ensure TOCs' compliance with the regulations.

A Railtrack Group Standard specifies the following limits:

  1. (a) no more than 12 hours to be worked per turn of duty;
  2. (b) no more than 72 hours to be worked per calendar week (Sunday to Saturday);
  3. (c) a minimum rest period of 12 hours between booking off from a turn of duty to booking on for the next turn. This may be reduced to eight hours at the weekly shift changeover, in case of staff working a shift pattern which rotates or alternates on a weekly basis;
  4. (d) no more than 13 turns of duty to be worked in any 14-day period.