TyreSafe has welcomed the outcomes and initiatives of the “Government response to the consultation to ban tyres aged 10 years or older”. The Department for Transport’s (DfT) response includes legislation banning the fitment of tyres over 10 years of age to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches. The ban also extends to all wheels of minibuses unless they have a ‘twin axle’, which means they would have two wheels on each side at the rear.
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.
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”.
In the three months since the Tyred Campaign for a ban of all tyres older than ten years on all commercial vehicles launched, support has been forthcoming from a broad base of sources. Powerful and influential people in business and politics getting behind Tyred include Maria Eagle MP; Steve Rotherham, Liverpool Metro Mayor; Stefan Hay, CEO – National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA); and Vinay Parmar, executive director of National Express Coaches.
The tyre industry has been involved in numerous awareness-raising campaigns over the years. The quality and creativity of these has increased significantly, especially in the decade since TyreSafe came into existence. However, when Frances Molloy re-launched the “Tyred” campaign on 30 June 2017, you couldn’t help but feel that you were witnessing something quite unique. As most of us in the industry already know, Frances’ son Michael Molloy died in a coach crash in the summer of 2012 that was caused by poor condition, 19 and a half year-old tyres. In fact no tyres on the coach were less than 10 years old. So when she says that Tyred is all about taking old tyres off the road, people listen.