Temporary relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours rules: Port of Calais industrial action

A temporary relaxation from 30 July 2015 until 28 August 2015, running at the time when Operation Stack was in place on the M20.

This publication was withdrawn on

The latest information on the government’s drivers’ hours rules and guidance is available on GOV.UK.


[Withdrawn] Notification: Port of Calais industrial action - temporary relaxation of the enforcement of drivers' hours rules

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The industrial action at the Port of Calais and incidents at the Euro Tunnel terminal and Channel Tunnel has caused major disruption to cross-Channel commercial vehicle traffic through the Tunnel and to some ferry routes to and from Kent. This has resulted in Operation Stack being invoked on the M20.

The Department for Transport has, pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, agreed to a temporary and limited, exceptional relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules. The temporary relaxation applies only to drivers whose journeys are delayed due to the industrial action or disruption at Calais and who:

  • have used a cross channel ferry or Eurotunnel to reach or leave Kent
  • are waiting within Kent for departure to mainland Europe
  • are driving a commercial vehicle operated from an operating centre in Kent and whose journey has been disrupted

This relaxation is not available for other commercial vehicle drivers in Kent and is not available for international journeys that do not pass through Kent.

This temporary relaxation applies from 12:01am on Thursday 30 July 2015 and will run for a period of 30 days at the times when Operation Stack is in place. Up to date information on the status of Operation Stack is available from Kent Police and Highways England.

The department reserves the right to withdraw or suspend the relaxation earlier if circumstances change. This relaxation is under constant review and may be withdrawn or suspended with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Published 29 July 2015