Stefan Hay, Director of the National Tyre Distributors Association, has issued a statement relating to the DfT’s plans to consult on options to ban older tyres from use on buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and mini-buses to help keep road users safe. This follows on from the highly successful “Tyred” campaign spearheaded by Frances Molloy and the subsequent addition of taxis and private hire veicles into the consultation.
NTDA Clarifies Position to DfT
The NTDA says it has already identified to former Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP, the DfT, DVSA and IVSA that by extending the scope, both TBRs and PCRs are potentially covered, together with some more specialist sizes such as those used on Black Cabs.
According to the NTDA, it has explained to the relevant authorities that PSVs and HGVs use TBRs, which are, in the main, managed very effectively by most, (but certainly not all), companies operating fleets and which are also recycled and reengineered on a widespread basis under the retreading process which extends the useful life of a worn TBR for its original purpose by the addition of new material. The NTDA points out that it 100% supports retreading in the UK and believes that it has a crucial part to play in our industry’s circular economy. Of course, retreads can also be found in the Black Cab market.
The statement continues;
“We have stated that 10 years is probably a sensible ‘cut off’ point for tyres on PSVs and HGVs, but that finding a tyre that old is fairly rare according to the majority of NTDA tyre distributor members providing fleet and roadside assistance we have spoken to. Furthermore, we have said that just because a tyre is 10 years old, it is not necessarily unsafe. In the main, modern tyres are safer than ever and represent a wonderful example of engineering excellence.
“We have also explained that most minibuses, taxis and private hire vehicles use PCRs, which are not re-treaded, but do often find their way into the thriving part-worn tyre market.”
The NTDA says it intends to respond to the consultation on the following basis;
- A ban on 10 years or older tyres on PSVs and HGVs seems appropriate, but is unlikely to have a major impact, as 10 years or older tyres across most fleets are rare;
- Better guidance is required on what constitutes an advisory and a fail at MoT stage, as both in the case on the fatal 2010 A3 coach crash and fatal 2017 M5 truck crash - both tyres were 19 years old and had been issued with advisories;
- A retread is, from the point of re-issue, a new product as far as the NTDA is concerned and should be treated as such;
- Part worn tyres should be banned on all passenger conveying vehicles (taxis, minibuses, private hire etc.), especially as many Local Authorities have already done so;
- Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.) which are part of the Consumer Protection Act, it is already an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the principal requirements of testing, inspection and marking, so why is enforcement so poor?
- In the absence on a total ban on part worn tyres, part worn tyre dealers should be required to join a register, pay to be on that register and be licensed and inspected on a regular basis. (We believe this additional cost would effectively ‘kill’ the part worn market.
This consultation went live on Sunday 23rd June and will run for 10 weeks. You can find out how to respond to the consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-tyres-aged-10-years-and-older.