At the same time that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) published post-lockdown garage reopening advice, they also echoed earlier calls from the tyre aftermarket business to support MOT tests.
The UK Government exemption on MOTs for six months from 30 March 2020, may have come as welcome news to many motorists, but the NTDA has also raised serious concerns about its impact on future vehicle roadworthiness. The fact that the emphasis has been placed on motorists to ensure their vehicles are kept in a roadworthy condition, further raises concerns. In short, the NTDA believes this general exemption will create long-term problems.
Following talk of a possible MOT suspension, the government has clarified the position. Cars, motorcycles and vans will be granted a six-month MOT exemption from 30 March 2020 in order to allow people to carry on with essential travel. This means vehicles that would usually would require an MOT test won’t need one from 30 March. However, the government does say “vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work”, adding that “drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.”
New data from Protyre reveals that more than one in four vehicles with a valid MOT leaves the forecourt with serious advisories that could result in a fine of up to £2,500 if not addressed in a matter of weeks. The analysis by the UK’s fastest growing supplier and fitter of tyres and automotive services with 150 nationwide garages highlights that this could apply to up to 9,550,000 vehicles on the road today, as there are an estimated 38.2 million registered vehicles in Britain according to the Department for Transport.
A group of MPs is calling for drivers to be banned from using hands-free mobile phones in England and Wales. While it has been illegal to use a handheld phone at the wheel since 2003, using a hands-free device creates “the same risks of collision”, the Commons Transport Select Committee has warned.
An investigation into the best and worst regions for MOT pass rates showed surprising patterns. The top pass rates are all in South East England, and on the flip side, the most failures fall in Scotland.
The industry-led Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce’s (STAT) Three Year Progress report shows that BAME representation now stands at over a fifth of apprentice intake, representing a 56 per cent proportional increase over the last two years in the share of BAME apprentices in the sector. The figure provides a positive result for STAT, who have exceeded their commitment to improve BAME representation in apprenticeships.
The UK government is consulting on plans to ban old tyres for buses, coaches, lorries and minibuses and a new law could be introduced this year and come into force early 2020. Tyres aged 10 years and older would be banned from use on buses, coaches, lorries and minibuses under the new proposals. However, further clarity about precisely what the new rules will cover is needed.
The government has published its future transport strategy. After highlighting mobility trends towards increased take-up of electric vehicles, increased amounts of vehicle connectivity and increased ecological consciousness, the strategy focuses on four “next steps”: Implementing a flexible regulatory framework, Supporting industry and local leaders, Ensuring government decision-making is robust; and continuing established technology-specific plans. In other words its about electric mobility, data connectivity and better environmental performance.
The IAAF Annual Conference, sponsored by Impression Communications, addressed some of the ongoing issues that loom large and threaten to impact the aftermarket in 2019 and beyond, including the future UK-EU relationship, the danger of counterfeit goods, fast evolving technology and vital legislation to access in-vehicle data, as it hosted one of the largest conferences to date.
The Tyre Industry Federation (TIF), which represents the UK tyre industry on issues of common concern, has confirmed its support and participation in the Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) ‘Call for evidence on brake, tyre and road surface wear’.
New homes in suburban England would need to be fitted with electric car charging points under a government proposal to cut emissions. Ministers also want new street lights to come with charge points wherever there’s on-street parking. Details of a sales ban on new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040 are also expected to be set out.
MWheels’ technical experts and Michelin Training Centre are working together to further improve overall knowledge of commercial vehicle wheel safety throughout the industry. Based predominantly around hands-on workshop participation alongside traditional seminar lessons, the companies aim to provide in-depth knowledge of the wheel itself, fitting and general maintenance, wheel security, and an understanding of affiliated parts such as axles, nuts and threads.
Negotiations to rectify the Department for Transport’s apparent failure to incorporate European Union Directives 2014/45/EU and 2014/47/EU into the wheel-related section of the new Heavy Goods Vehicle Inspection Manual has yielded a positive result for MWheels. The commercial vehicle wheel specialist shares that following a meeting with the DfT, DVSA and Parliamentary representative Mike Kane MP on 17 May, the DfT “has agreed to work with MWheels to investigate ways in which the Heavy Goods Vehicle Inspection Manual’s section on wheels can be enhanced to improve vehicle safety.”