2 Dec 2013

Caught-short drivers fined for parking at bus stops

8:39 pm on 2 December 2013

The Tramways Union says bus drivers in Auckland are urinating in bottles because they are being ticketed when they park at bus stops to use public toilets.

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The union says about two dozen drivers received tickets in the past year. General secretary Gary Froggatt said on Monday that some drivers use bottles and empty them later to avoid getting a ticket.

Mr Froggatt says drivers can work more than five hours without a break and the union would like parking wardens to show some understanding. He says the union is also trying to get the time between drivers' breaks shortened.

Auckland Transport says there are designated stands where buses can park, but the union says there aren't enough of them and they are not always close by.

Employment lawyer Peter Cullen says the responsibility lies with the bus companies - not Auckland Transport - to make sure that their drivers are getting rest breaks.

"To have people taking bottles to urinate in sounds just crazy - no one has to live like that. And when you're driving a bus, one appreciates the different proposition - you just can't turn the engine off and climb out in the middle of Queen Street and go off looking for a toilet. It's got to be more planned, but that should be worked out with the employer."