New proposals could see old tyres banned from use on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), coaches and buses from 2020.

With evidence showing that age affects tyre safety, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said that it intends to introduce legislation banning tyres aged 10 years or more from use on a range of vehicles, including HGVs and heavy trailers.

The legislation will amend the current Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1078) to make it an offence to use tyres 10 years or older on certain vehicles.

The full list of vehicle types included in the scope of the proposals is:

  • HGVs (category N2; over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes) and N3 (over 12 tonnes)

  • heavy trailers, including semi-trailers (category O3; over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes) and O4 (over 10 tonnes)

  • buses, coaches and minibuses (categories M2 and M3).

Before introducing the new rules, however, the DfT and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have launched a public consultation to seek views on its proposals.

Available at GOV.UK website, the consultation document gives background to the proposals, while a separate impact assessment is also available.

If the proposals are supported, then the new rules could be in force by early next year, the DfT has said.

The consultation document highlights finding by coroners that the deaths of eight people in two road traffic collisions were caused in part by an old, defective tyre being fitted to the steered axle of the vehicle.

The prospect of new legislation comes just a few months after the DVSA announced that any checks made by its staff which find a tyre over 10 years old being used on a heavy vehicle or trailer will result in follow-up investigations on the vehicle operator.

Last reviewed 5 July 2019