The Government is to consult on options to ban older tyres from use on heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches and mini-buses to help keep road users safe.
The Department for Transport has announced that it will consult on legislation to make it illegal for these vehicles to run with a tyre aged ten years or over.
This follows a research project, launched by the Government last year, to look at whether the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety.
“We have been working hard to understand the link between tyre age and road safety,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said. “Emerging evidence and leading expert testimony shows us that we need to ban tyres over the age of ten years from larger vehicles based on the ‘precautionary principle’ – a move that will make our roads safer for everyone.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman added: “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.
The 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 inspected 136,263 buses and coaches and have found 0.06% to breach the guidance.
Last November, the DVSA guidance on maintaining roadworthiness was updated to say that tyres of ten years of age or older should not be used on the front axles of heavy goods vehicles as well as buses and coaches.
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 USA to carry out testing and analysis. The outcome of this research will be published later in the spring.