Larger vehicles – including HGVs – will be banned from using older tyres, under new DfT plans to ‘help keep road users safer’.
Announced on 26 February, the DfT will consult on legislation to make it illegal for buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and mini-buses to run with a tyre aged 10 years or over.
The consultation follows a research project, launched last year, to look at whether the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety – the outcome of which will be published later in the spring.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Keeping people safe on our roads is our priority, and we have been working hard to understand the link between tyre age and road safety.
“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.”
The consultation also follows the ‘Tyred’ campaign, led by Frances Molloy, whose 18-year-old son Michael was one of three 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.
Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “I want to pay tribute to Frances Molloy and the Tyred campaign for their brilliant campaign to ban older tyres on buses and coaches.
“I believe the changes we are consulting on will save lives. And I hope it will be welcomed by everyone who shares a commitment to making our roads safer, for the benefit of all.”
In November 2018, 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.