Old tyres will be illegal under proposed government legislation

The government wants to introduce legislation to make it illegal for HGVs to run on tyres more than 10-years old. It will launch a consultation on options to ban older tyres from use on lorries, buses and coaches to keep the roads safe.

It follows a government project last year to look at whether or not the age of a tyre has a direct affect on its safety.

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 announcement follows a campaign led by Frances Molloy, whose 18-year-old son Michael was among three people killed in a coach crash in 2012. The collision was caused by the failure of a 19-year-old tyre on the front-axle of the coach.

In November 2018, DVSA guidance on maintaining roadworthiness was updated to say that tyres of 10 years of age or older should not be used on the front-axles of HGVs, as well as buses and coaches.

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Case of the invisible transport manager

Richard Dale appeared before North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans, along with NPH Haulage director Nina Hatcher, after concerns were raised about the transport manager’s involvement in the Preston-based company.

A public inquiry (PI) heard how Dale became nominated transport manager after Hatcher obtained the company licence following the death of sole trader and transport manager, Andrew Hodkinson, in a road traffic accident.

However, the reality was that Dale, who was based in Malton, never visited NPH Haulage, was never paid for the role and played no part in the oversight of the firm’s two HGVs and two trailers.

Hatcher admitted she had taken primary responsibility for the vehicles and had planned to be the transport manager herself, but had failed the case study part of the exam.

She had been unable to take a resit due to having responsibilities towards her nine-year-old son and also driving.

The TC factored in the personal and tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Hodkinson, but said Hatcher’s and Dale’s actions had raised “very significant issues of trust”.

He said: “Such findings are compounded by the false statements made in the TM1 form and that this arrangement was a charade right from the beginning. TC Evans found that the operator had lost its repute and revoked its licence.

“I step back from exercising my powers to disqualify either the company or Ms Hatcher, this despite my finding the company’s repute has been lost, as an act of mercy and in reflection of the circumstances that underlie the appalling decision-making of the protagonists.”

He added Dale had lost his repute for continuing an arrangement he knew “to be a sham”.

“Mr Dale says he is looking to retire,” the TC concluded. “I therefore disqualify him from holding office as a transport manager indefinitely on my finding that he has manifestly forfeited his repute.”

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