The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will consult legislation to ban tyres aged 10 years or over from use on heavy goods vehicles, coaches, buses and mini-buses in an effort to improve the safety on our roads.
This is as a direct result of a research project conducted by the government last year to look at whether the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has 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."
It follows the 'Tyred' campaign that came after an unfortunate accident found to be caused by a 19 year old tyre in 2012. This move follows a series of measures on tyre safety put in place by the government. In 2013, the DfT issued guidance advising bus operators against fitting older tyres to the front axles of their vehicles. This has been reinforced through inspections by the DVSA. Since June 2017, they have inspectd 136,263 buses and coaches and have found 0.06% to breach the guidance.
In November last year, the DVSA guidance on maintaining road worthiness 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.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman has said;
"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 addition, the government commissioned research in 2018 to establish the effect age has on the integrity of road vehicle tyres. As part of this research, the UK's Transport Research Laboratory has worked with a leading lab in the US to carry out testing and analysis. The outcome of this research will be published later in the spring.