Banning tyres aged 10 years and older from HGVs in England, Scotland and Wales has been introduced under new rules to help improve road safety. The ban, which will also affect buses and coaches, follows an extensive investigation, including research commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), which indicated ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.

The ban will apply to tyres fitted to the front axle of:

  • heavy goods vehicles
  • buses
  • coaches

plus to the tyres on all axles of minibuses when fitted in single configuration

The original consultation covered a proposed ban on tyres aged 10 years and older from heavy goods vehicles, heavy trailers, buses, coaches and minibuses. Respondents were also asked to provide evidence to inform  decisions for extending the same requirements to taxis and private hire vehicles. The consultation included a list of specific questions on proposals for respondents to answer.

A total of 1,134 responses were received via the online survey, email and post. Respondents included businesses, trade associations, public bodies, tyre manufacturers, Members of Parliament, user groups, motorists’ clubs, museums and members of the public.

Ban

The government has decided to proceed with a revision of the proposal, whereby tyres aged 10 years or older will be prohibited from use on the front axles of HGVs, buses and coaches and from all axles on minibuses when fitted in single configuration. In reaching this decision to implement legislation to improve road safety, they have considered a number of factors and issues raised by respondents during the consultation, including:

  • both fatal collisions where we have evidence that tyre age contributed to their failure, were for tyres fitted to the front steering axles
  • including tyres on all axles on minibuses (for tyres fitted in single configuration) will provide additional safeguards for minibus drivers, passengers and other road users, without a significant increase in costs of compliance for the entire haulage and passenger transport industries
  • this legislative change mirrors existing roadworthiness guidance, so the majority of commercial, operator licenced vehicles should not need to make any adjustments to ensure compliance
  • by introducing legislation, all in-scope vehicles, including those 25% of HGVs and 30% of buses, coaches and minibuses that are operated privately and are not subject to operator licensing and its associated maintenance schedules, will be subject to the same requirements. The vehicle involved in the second fatal collision was a privately-owned vehicle falling within this category.

Most respondents were in favour of the proposed ban on first-life tyres aged 10 years or older. Support from organisations and individuals echoed the wording from the consultation, highlighting the road safety aspects of the ban.

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