Government considering banning use of old tyres on large vehicles

Large vehicles registered in the UK could be banned from using old tyres, in a bid to improve road safety.

A new government proposal would see tyres 10 years or older be prohibited from being used on buses, coaches, minibuses and HGVs. If supported, this new rule could come into force in early 2020.

A 10-week consultation on the proposal will take place following the ‘Tyred’ campaign — which has been led by Frances Molly, whose son Michael died in a coach crash caused by a 19-year-old tyre in 2012.

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Michael Ellis, road safety minister, said: “Our priority is keeping people safe on our roads, and we are taking action to reduce the number of people killed or injured. There is increasing evidence that age affects the safety of tyres, which is why I think older tyres should not be used on large vehicles.

“I would like to thank Frances Molloy and the Tyred campaign for their work raising this important issue – the changes we are consulting on could save lives.”

Though not legally enforced yet, bus operators have already been advised against using older tyres on the front of their vehicles. Inspections by the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) of 130,000 buses since 2017 have found just 0.06 per cent of vehicles breached this guidance.

The DVSA has also updated its guidance on maintaining roadworthiness to recommend that tyres 10 years old older should not be fitted to the front axles of heavy goods vehicles.