A campaign to ban older tyres from use on buses, coaches, HGVs and mini-buses has succeeded in lobbying the government to open up a consultation on the matter.
The Tyred Campaign, led by Frances Molloy, aimed to introduce a legal ban on the use of tyres aged 10 years or older on these vehicles. Molloy’s 18-year-old son Michael was among 3 people killed in a coach crash on the A3 in 2012. The collision was caused by the failure of a 19-year-old tyre on the front axle of the coach.
The Department for Transport has today announced it will ‘consult on options’ to the legislation in order ‘to keep road users safe.’
Roads Minister Jesse Norman paid tribute to Molloy and the Tyred campaign, saying the changes will ‘save lives’.
Reacting on Twitter, Frances Molloy said: “I have just taken a call from @Jesse_Norman and Chris Grayling to inform me that the Government are now starting a consultation to ban tyres older than 10yrs. I am ecstatic…we did it!!!”
The consultation follows a research project, launched by the government last year, which examined whether the age of a tyre had a direct impact on its safety. The outcome of this research will be published later in the spring.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Emerging evidence and leading expert testimony shows us that we need to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from larger vehicles based upon the ‘precautionary principle’ – a move that will make our roads safer for everyone.”
In November last year, DVSA guidance on maintaining roadworthiness was updated to say that tyres of 10 years of age or older should not be used on the front axles of heavy goods vehicles as well as buses and coaches.
Frustration gives way to success
The announcement is the culmination of a long-standing confrontation between the Tyred Campaign and the UK Government.
The Tyres (Buses and Coaches) Bill 2017-19 bill, proposed by the Tyred Campaign and first read out in the House of Commons on 31 October 2017, was blocked for a second reading on 19 January 2018 by Conservative MPs.
Ongoing political support, including from Labour MP Maria Eagle and Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham, as well as international tyre experts and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, put pressure on the Government.
The Tyred campaign has also sought to persuade passengers to question bus and coach operators about their tyre safety check routine and to adopt the use of an age decoder.
Responding to the campaign’s success, Maria Eagle MP tweeted: “Congratulations @MolloyFrances @tyreduk for your fantastic campaigning. Thanks to Chris Grayling & @Jesse_Norman for seeing the truth and sense of our campaign to ban dangerous old tyres #OldTyresKill”
For more information: www.tyred.org.uk