Ten-year-old tyre ban welcomed

But more to be done still, says campaign group Tyred

New rules have been put in place making it illegal to fit tyres aged ten years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses in England, Scotland and Wales.

The announcement was made by Roads Minister, Baroness Vere. It follows the efforts of the Tyred campaign, launched by Frances Molloy, whose son Michael died in a coach crash in 2012. The coach he was travelling on had a 19-year-old tyre fitted to the front axle. Since the accident, Mrs Molloy has campaigned to see the law changed.

Tyred welcomed the news, saying it is a positive step forward. However, it notes that old tyres in twin configuration on vehicles will not be included in this ban.

A statement from Tyred said: “This has come as a surprise and a disappointment as a total ban makes much more sense given the significant risks that old tyres present on our roads. The new date for legislation to be passed has been confirmed as January 2021.

“As a campaign team we will continue to closely monitor the progress Government makes to pass legislation, in accordance with the revised timescale for this legislation, as this will already be more than a year later than the original date of December 2019. Our concern remains that not implementing a total ban on old tyres still leaves a ‘loophole’ for operators who do not have safety as their number one priority.”

“This announcement is a significant achievement, however we still believe a total ban is still the best course of action to ensure no further lives are lost.”

The ban follows an extensive investigation, including research commissioned by the Department for Transport, which indicated ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail. The secondary legislation will be laid in the autumn and will also apply to re-treaded tyres, with the date of re-treading to be marked, making the age of the tyre clearly visible.

CPT’s Operations Director, Keith McNally, said: “CPT welcomes the announcement that tyres over ten years old will be banned from the front axles of buses and coaches in the new measures announced to improve road safety. It’s important to remember that compliance within the bus and coach industry is already exceptionally high, and there have only been a small number of cases where this has been a problem.

“It is good to see that a number of our comments have been taken on board in the Government’s final decision and it is now important that the changes are communicated clearly to bus and coach operators, particularly as the implementation period is only three months. It is important to recognise that many businesses are mothballed at the moment because of Covid-19 and they will need sufficient time to ensure their vehicles are compliant.”

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