The Department for Transport (DFT) has recently announced it intends to consult on legislation to make it illegal for buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and mini-buses to run with a tyre aged 10 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. The aim is to help keep road users safe.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling 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.”
This new proposal 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 Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. Since June 2017, they have inspected 136,263 buses and coaches and have found 0.06% to breach the guidance.
In 2018, the DVSA guidance on maintaining roadworthiness 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.
The same year, the government also commissioned research 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 laboratory in the United States to carry out testing and analysis. The outcome of this research is expected to be published later this spring.
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