1,000 signatures reached
To: Nusrat Ghani MP, Transport Minister
Limit local bus drivers’ working hours (Rowan’s Law)
We the undersigned call on the Government to limit local bus drivers’ driving hours to 56 hours a week, and no more than 90 hours over any two consecutive weeks, as is already the case for long distance bus drivers and HGV drivers, and to give sufficient Parliamentary time to Matt Western MP’s Bus Drivers (Working Hours on Local Routes) Bill to achieve the necessary change in law.
Why is this important?
Seven-year old Rowan Fitzgerald was travelling back on the X18 bus having watched his beloved Coventry City FC play when the bus he was travelling in crashed into a shop in Coventry City Centre. The crash killed the seven-year-old from Leamington Spa, as well as 76-year-old Dora Hancox from Nuneaton. Many, many more could have been killed or seriously injured were it not for the swift, brave actions of a local man.
The fact that the driver had been driving 70+ hour weeks for 3 weeks leading up to the crash was undoubtedly the critical factor that led to this accident and on the day of the incident he agreed voluntarily to work a further 8-10 hour shift. He was 77 years old. However, this is presently entirely legal under British law, as local bus drivers are not subject to the same working hour regulations as long-distance bus drivers or lorry drivers.
This tragedy could have been avoided, potentially, if driving hours for local bus drivers were capped at 56 hours a week, and no more than 90 hours over any two consecutive weeks, as it already is for long distance bus drivers and HGV drivers.
It is imperative that we do everything we can to help protect people using buses, as well as pedestrians in our town and city centres – two more lives cannot be lost the next time a bus driver is asked to work too many hours than is safe or an individual driver chooses to work excessive hours.