§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received regarding proposed EU legislation to prohibit machinery operators from driving plant and equipment for more than two hours per day; what assessment he has made of the cost of this legislation to the British construction industry; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
There is no proposed EU legislation to prohibit machinery operators from driving plant and equipment for more then two hours per day. The proposed Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive introduces a limit value for exposure to whole body vibration. The European Parliament has proposed an amendment to the common position on the Directive reducing this limit value. This reduced limit value could, in particular circumstances, have the effect of restricting the driving time by individuals of certain equipment to two or three hours.
The Government have received representations opposing this European Parliament amendment from several industry sectors, including agriculture, construction, mining and quarrying and engineering. We intend to defend the common position against the European Parliament amendment.
The Government have not costed the implications of the Directive on individual industry sectors. A Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Directive covering the costs to industry as a whole and the health benefits to workers has been submitted to the European Scrutiny Committee and is available in the Libraries of the House.