National Express says that legislation to be laid in the autumn that will ban the use of any tyre that is aged 10 years or more on the front axle of a coach, bus or minibus “should go further.”

The ban was announced on 15 July in a government response to an earlier consultation. It will also capture the use of casings that were re-treaded 10 or more years previously, and the rear axles of minibuses where a single wheel is fitted.

While it has welcomed the legislation, National Express believes that it should additionally apply to twin-wheel rear axles. It says that an outright ban of old tyres and re-treads on coaches, buses and minibuses “will significantly improve the safety standards of passenger carrying operators and reduce the risk of serious tyre-related accidents.”

The group says that tyres used on its vehicles “are never more than eight years old,” and that it regularly carries out stringent safety checks on them.

National Express’s calls echo the proposals initially made in the consultation, which was published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in June 2019. That document also advocated a total ban on the use of re-treaded tyres on steer axles of coaches, buses and minibuses. The government’s response to it represents a climbdown on those proposals.

National Express has long supported the Tyred campaign. Tyred was founded by Frances Molloy. In 2012, her son Michael was killed in a coach crash that occurred when a tyre that was over 19 years old failed. Mrs Molloy has repeatedly called for legislation to ban the use of any tyre that is over 10 years old on PCVs.