Industry concerns as Government presses ahead with tyre ban consultation

Industry concerns as Government presses ahead with tyre ban consultation

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said it is ‘dismayed’ by the Government’s decision to consult on options to ban older tyres before publishing the findings of research the Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned to establish whether the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety.

The DfT announced yesterday (Feb 26) that it will 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. 

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.

“Emerging evidence and leading expert testimony shows us that we need to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from larger vehicles based upon the ‘precautionary principle’ – a move that will make our roads safer for everyone.”

The Government commissioned research in 2018 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 laboratory in the US to carry out testing and analysis. The outcome of this research will be published later in the spring, the Government said.

Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy at FTA (Freight Transport Association), said given the amount of mileage covered by a typical commercial driver, it is unlikely that many FTA members have tyres that are 10 years old. 

He added: “FTA is committed to ensuring the highest safety standards are met across the logistics industry, and as such, is happy to work with the DfT on this consultation. If tyres are undertaking particularly low mileage, there may be a case for exemption, but this needs to be considered further.

“FTA is dismayed, however, that DfT has embarked upon this consultation without publishing the results of the tyre analysis completed by the Transport Research Laboratory. The results of this research would help determine the correct policy position in this area, so issuing a consultation without this information seems a less than ideal way to get an informed response.”