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February 5, 2021Tyres Aged 10 Years+ On Lorries, Coaches, Buses & Taxis Will Be Banned

An old London bus next to a new bus

From February 2021, 10 year old tyres will be banned on all single wheels of vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats, and front axles of lorries buses and coaches – this new rule will be enforced in England, Scotland and Wales in an effort to increase road safety. 

  • Tyres that are 10 years or older have been banned to better road safety
  • It is mandatory to have a clear and visible manufacture date on each tyre so that old tyres can be spotted with ease

Where has the 10-year tyre ban come from and why was it commissioned?

In September 2012, a tragic tyre failure on a coach led to the loss of three lives. The investigator who tended to the accident concluded that the tyre failure was the result of its age (a 19-year old tyre fitted to the front axle).

At this time there wasn’t any forensic evidence to describe or characterise the breakdown of the tyre’s construction relating to its years of usage. However, following the investigation, the Secretary of State for Transport advised coach owners and operators that tyres aged 10 years+ are no longer to be used at the steering axle (front) of coaches or buses.

Following on from the Secretary of State for Transport’s advice, an extensive investigation was authorised by the Department for Transport, and thorough research and scientific advice has shown that age affects the performance of multiple elements of a tyre – all of which are critical to its overall integrity and road safety.

How to check your tyres on vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats

The age of your vehicle’s tyres is found inside the tyre’s sidewall. Here you should find a three or four-digit tyre age code. Tyres with a three-digit code will be more than 10 years old.

The first two numbers of the tyre’s code displays the week of its manufacture and the next two digits show the year of manufacture.

Tyres 10 years and over will now be failed on:

  • Front steered axle
  • Rear-axle of a minibus with a single wheel fitment
  • No date code displayed at all

It’s important to note that date codes are only marked on one side of a tyre, so if you can’t see a code, it could be the case that the date code is on twin wheel fitments. In this case, you can explain this to your local professional who will be able to assist you.

Retreaded tyres

Retreaded tyres serial numbers

Tyres that have been remoulded or retreaded can have two date codes. One of the date codes will signify the original week and year of manufacture and the other code will be the date of when the remoulding/retreading took place. In cases such as this, the most recent date code is the one you need to refer to.

You might spot some visual difference of the date code on remoulded/retreaded tyres – some are branded as opposed to moulded.

Criteria from testing guide found below:

Defect Category
(a) A tyre:

(i) load capacity or speed rating not in accordance with the minimum requirements

(ii) load capacity insufficient for axle presented weight

Major

Dangerous

(b) Tyres on the same axle or on twin wheels are different sizes Major
(c) Tyres on the same axle of different structure Major
(d) A tyre:

(i) with a cut in excess of the requirements deep enough to reach the ply or cords

(ii) with a lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of its structure, including any lifting of the tread rubber or with cords exposed or damaged

Major

Dangerous

(e) Tyre tread depth not in accordance with the requirements Dangerous
(f) A tyre fouling a part of the vehicle Major
(g) A recut tyre fitted to a vehicle not permitted to be fitted with recut tyres Major
(h) Tyre pressure monitoring system malfunctioning or obviously not working Major
(i) A tyre not fitted in compliance with the manufacturer’s sidewall instructions Major
(j) A tyre valve seriously damaged or misaligned likely to cause sudden deflation of the tyre Dangerous
(k) A tyre incorrectly seated on the wheel rim Major
(l) Tyre obviously under-inflated Minor
(m) A tyre over ten years old is fitted to a front steered axle of a bus, coach, or any axle on a minibus with a single wheel fitment Dangerous
(n) A date code illegible:

(i) on a tyre fitted to a rear axle of a bus or coach

(ii) or not visible on a tyre fitted to a front steered axle of a bus or coach or any axle on a minibus with a single wheel fitment

Minor

Major

Is it important to check my tyres?

All drivers, owners and operators are accountable for the safety of their own vehicles. So with this new ban in mind, your tyres must be in line with the new requirements which will be enforced February this year. The DVSA will be checking the age of tyres as part of their routine roadside enforcement jobs and it will also be added to MOT tests.

If you need help with your vehicle tyres or require car servicing and repaircontact Treadfirst who can offer good prices and a friendly, honest service. If you’re in a rush, feel free to book an online MOT with your closest branch and we’ll be more than happy to assist you on the day.

Get in touch today for the best quality advice, competitive pricing and a personal service

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