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Bulgaria is still relaxing the rules on drivers’ hours. Sweden has new rules that allow drivers to extend their driving time. In Spain, the government approved the closure of 49 percent of gas stations due to low demand. 

Bulgaria has extended the loosening of Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006 from 17 April (from 0:00) to 17 May (until 24:00), reports the Polish Association of International Road Carriers (ZMPD). Relaxations in this country include the following:

Article 6.1 – the extension of daily driving limit from 9 to 11 hours; 

Article 7 – the option of having a break after 5.5 hours of driving instead of 4.5 hours as provided for in Regulation (EC) 561/2006;

Article 8.6 – the possibility of receiving two shortened weekly rest periods lasting a minimum of 24 hours in a row, provided that at least two rests within 4 consecutive weeks will be regular weekly 45-hour breaks. In addition, two reduced weekly rests must be held to compensate the shorter rests before the next rest period can be started;

Article 8.8 – admission to regular weekly rest in the cabin of vehicles, if it is properly equipped and parked. 

In addition, Bulgaria has suspended the holiday ban on heavy goods vehicles above 12 tonnes – inform ZMPD. 

Sweden 

The Swedish Transport Agency has announced a further relaxation of the rules on drivers’ hours. Temporary relaxation will apply from 15 April to 31 May and applies to all truck drivers regardless of their nationality, according to the International Road Transport Union (IRU). 

Here is a list of exceptions by the Swedes from Regulation (EC) No 561/2006:

Article 6.1 – the extension of the maximum daily driving limit from 9 to 11 hours ,

Article 6.2 – the extension of the maximum weekly driving limit from 56 to 60 hours,

Article 6.3 – the extension of the maximum two-week driving limit from 90 to 120 hours,

Article 8.1 – the reduction of the regular daily rest from 11 to 9 hours ,

Article 8.6 – shortening of the regular weekly rest period from 45 to 24 hours ,

Article 8.8 – the driver may have a regular weekly rest in the vehicle’s cab , if it is well-equipped and parked.

We remind you that during the period from 16 March to 14 April, only exceptions from Art. 8.1 and 8.6 of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 applied.

Fuel stations in Spain are closing

The Spanish government has approved a directive introduced by the Ministry of Ecological Change and Demographic Challenges (Miteco) which allows the temporary closure of 49 percent of the gas stations of the country due to falling demand. This means that approx. 5700 stations will not operate as long as the state of emergency applies. 

Several operators indicate that the fall in demand ranges from 60 to 99 percent depending on the location of the service station, reports the daily La Vanguardia. 

37 percent (i.e. 4,334) of the stations will remain open as before. These will be facilities in strategic locations (for the transport of goods or for medical care centers) where sales are at a high level. 

Another 14 percent of the stations that will still remain open are facilities in less populated areas. In such regions, the station with the highest sales will have to operate. Such fuel stations will only operate at their own hours (at least 30 hours a week and a minimum of 5 hours a day from Monday to Saturday).

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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