The eight-year campaign to drive age-compromised tyres from UK roads reached its conclusion today, with amendments to Construction and Use Regulations now prohibiting the use of tyres more than ten years old on the front steered axles of lorries, buses, coaches or on any minibus single wheel axle.
Following strenuous campaigning from the industry, Tyred and Frances Molloy in particular, the government announced on 26 February that it will consult on “options to ban older tyres from use on buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and mini-buses to help keep road users safe”. The Department for Transport explained that the proposed legislation will make it illegal for these vehicles to run with a tyre aged 10 years or over.
It is now almost seven years since Michael Molloy with two other passengers (Kerry Ogden and Colin Daulby) lost his young life when their coach crashed on the M25 Motorway (in 2012) due to the failure of a nineteen and half year-old tyre. Michael’s mother Frances Molloy immediately took up the cause of looking to legally ban ageing tyres being fitted to all buses and coaches. Over the following years the Tyred campaign continued to gather momentum, leading to its latest meetings with the UK government. Now the campaign has received the backing of a variety of organisations, including the Liverpool Football Club focused media company, Anfield Wrap.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman has announced the government is investing a reported £250,000 in the first publicly funded research into tyre ageing. On 1 March a Department for Transport statement said it has commissioned “independent scientific research which will provide a fuller picture on the safety of tyres as they get older”.
Road safety campaigner and Brityrex 2014 TyreTalk speaker, Frances Molloy has been “encouraged” by the response from tyre industry representatives following a meeting in Westminster. Supported by Liverpool Walton MP, Labour’s Steve Rotheram, Molloy is campaigning for a change in the law on the fitment of aged tyres. Her son, Michael, was killed in a 2012 crash caused by the blowout of a second-hand, 19.5-year old tyre alongside a fellow passenger and the driver of a coach.
Prominent tyre legislation campaigner, Frances Molloy has described the Secretary of State for Transport’s response to the issue of aged tyres in the market as “weak and lacking in leadership”. Molloy is lobbying the government to change the law on the fitment of over-age tyres, and gave a powerful presentation during Brityrex International’s TyreTalk seminar programme in Manchester. Describing the coalition government of being “anti-legislation”, Molloy vowed to maintain her campaign until the government introduces legislation to restrict the fitment of old tyres on Public Service Vehicles.
The campaign for tighter laws on aged tyres has taken another step forward with the presentation of a Bill in the House of Commons calling for a maximum age limit for tyres fitted to public service vehicles. The Ten Minute Rule Bill was introduced by Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotherham yesterday, and although approval is by no means certain it achieves the important aim of increasing awareness of the dangers aged tyres can pose. Per the Bill, operating a public service vehicle with tyres that are ten or more years old would become an offence; this age limit would be enforced by Traffic Commissioners, and tyre age checked and recorded during the annual vehicle test. Rotherham also stated that the Bill would accommodate tyre manufacturers’ ongoing research, and the proposed maximum age limit could thus “easily be increased” should evidence verify that a newly-developed bus or coach tyre was “demonstrably safe” beyond ten years of age.
Frances Molloy, a prominent tyre legislation campaigner, has been announced as a speaker at October’s Brityrex International’s TyreTalk seminars. Molloy, who is chief executive of Health@Work and chair of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, has been lobbying the UK government to change the law on the sale and fitting of overage tyres following the death of her 18-year old son alongside the driver and another passenger in an accident caused by the blowout of a second-hand 19.5-year old tyre.
At a meeting on 6 May, members of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority unanimously voted to support the tyre aging motion that has arisen from the campaign begun by Liverpool woman Frances Molloy following the 2012 death of her son in a coach crash. The motion, titled Coach Safety & Prevention of Road Traffic Accidents, calls for an age limit of six years to be placed on tyres fitted to coaches.