Bus drivers have backed a call for a major cut in their driving hours.
At a conference in Eastbourne organised by the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) yesterday they supported a demand for the maximum driving time to be four and a half hours in one continuous period.
TGWU leaders have welcomed the firm decision.
They pledged that they will prepare the campaign to run alongside the previously announced ‘spring offensive’ on pay.
Summing up the debate, Graham Stevenson, TGWU national organiser for transport said: ‘Cutting the number of hours came back from the conference and was the major issue bus drivers united behind.
‘We will be taking this forward in negotiations with the bus operators and looking at the political dimension of lobbying government ministers.’
Delegates to the TGWU Passenger Transport Conference represented bus workers from all parts of the UK and all the major operators.
These include FirstGroup, Arriva, Stagecoach, Go-ahead and National Express as well as a number of smaller regional operators and municipal bus companies.
Bus drivers’ hours are currently regulated through the UK Domestic Regulations and allow for a maximum driving time of five and a half hours in one continuous period and a ten hour working day.
Stevenson added: ‘On pay and hours the message to the bus industry is clear for 2007 that we expect to see changes to improve the safety and working conditions of bus drivers across all operators and all parts of the UK.’