Government Ban on Old Tyres for Lorries, Buses and Coaches
Tyres that are 10 or more years old are to be banned from use on roads by buses, coaches and lorries.
The announcement of these new measures was made by Roads Minister Baroness Vere on 15th July 2020, and follows many years of work by road safety campaigners and lengthy government consultation which included a detailed investigation commissioned by the Department for Transport. The research found that old tyres suffer dangerous corrosion which drastically increases the risk of them failing, thus increasing the risk of accidents.
A statutory instrument giving effect to the new regulations is expected to be laid before parliament in Autumn 2020. The new legislation is expected not only to include an outright ban on fitting tyres aged 10 or more years old to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches and to all wheels of minibuses, but additional measures requiring that the date of manufacture of every tyre should be stamped and clearly visible on the tyre itself. Similarly, where tyres are re-treaded, the date of re-treading will need to be clearly marked so that the age of any tyre is clear to see.
The responsibility for ensuring that tyres are road-legal will remain with owners, operators and drivers, and the DVSA will be asked to continue checking tyre age as part of routine roadside inspections. Tyre age will also be added as specific check to be carried out as part of annual testing.
Operators and drivers will need to keep in mind that when the new law comes into force, it will be a criminal office to use a tyre which does not comply with the age and marking requirements – irrespective of whether the tyre appears to be defective.
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