NEW rules banning lorry drivers from taking out floats in their free time could spell disaster for mid Cheshire carnival organisers.

New European Union legislation limits the working hours of truck and bus drivers.

The new law requires drivers to take off at least two consecutive days every two weeks and fix compulsory daily rest periods of nine hours. They will also have to log private or voluntary miles on their tachographs.

But as rest time for most drivers normally falls at the weekend, when carnivals are usually held, there are concerns that this could change the face of the traditional parades.

One carnival committee in Devon has had to scrap large floats from its procession and others are expected to suffer the same fate.

Barbara Turner, from Northwich carnival committee, said she was not aware of the new rules but thought it would make matters difficult for the event.

She said: "We already have problems with lorries as it is because of the insurance costs.

"A lot of the businesses won't do it any more because of injury fears and health and safety legislation.

"Sometimes you just think why not scrap it but then it's something for the community."

Yvonne Marriot, from Winsford carnival committee, added: "I don't think it's going to be a problem for us.

"Ray's Transport Ltd from Winsford have volunteered to do it for us and as far as I know they'll have enough drivers to make sure everything is okay."

A member of staff at the transport company said they were aware of the new legislation and said it was likely the owner, who does not usually drive, would drive on the day of Winsford Carnival.