The Department of Transport is consulting on legislation to make it illegal for buses, coaches, HGVs and minibuses to run with a tyre aged 10 years or over.
To support the consultation, DfT launched a research project to explore if the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety. The report “Tyre Ageing: Its effect on material properties and structural integrity” was conducted by TRL. “The test programme identified an increased tyre rubber compound stiffness with age, with an associated reduction in elasticity with increasing age,” it stated.
And Freight Transport Association head of road freight regulations said: “Given the amount of mileage covered by a typical commercial driver, FTA finds it unlikely that many of our members have tyres that are 10 years old. FTA is committed to ensuring the highest safety standards are met across the logistics industry, and as such, is happy to work with the Department for Transport (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.”
Transport secretary Chris Grayling commented on the ban: “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 report can be found here.