Wirral Council has thrown its full weight behind the tyred campaign which calls for an outright ban on the use of tyres older than ten years on buses and coaches. Councillors unanimously supported a motion that had been brought forward by Conservative Group Leader Cllr Ian Lewis and follows a similar move by Liverpool City Council last month.
Tyred was set up by Frances Molloy after her 18 year old son Michael was killed in a coach crash as he returned from the Bestival music festival. 23 year old Kerry Ogden and driver Colin Daulby were also killed in the crash which was caused by the failure of a 19 year old tyre. Although the Department for Transport has updated guidelines for Passenger Service Vehicle’s (PSVs), such as buses and coaches, it is still not illegal to fit tyres older than 10 years.
There is a consensus amongst experts that 10 years should be the absolute maximum age of any tyres fitted to PSVs but the Government has so far refused to act. The motion passed by Wirral Council last night included a commitment to ask local schools to check any vehicles that are used for school trips and to write to local operators to remind them of the Government guidelines.
Maria Eagle MP is also throwing her weight behind the campaign and has laid down an Early Day Motion (168) for other MPs to signal their support for the campaign and has also secured a backbench bill to be read in Parliament on 31st October.
Speaking after the meeting, Wirral Council Leader Cllr Phil Davies said: “The tyred campaign is not about party politics, it’s about common sense and keeping people safe. Frances is a real inspiration and I’m proud our Council has thrown its full support behind the campaign. We need to ban dangerously out of date tyres now and improve the safety of our roads.
“We hope to soon see a long-overdue change in law but, in the meantime, we will be immediately working with all schools and independent transport companies in our borough, urging them to take account of the campaign and stop using out of date tyres.”
Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Ian Lewis said: “When I heard about the campaign I couldn’t believe that it was still possible for reckless operators to legally fit 20 year old tyres to their vehicles. Buses and coaches undergo annual checks so this won’t cost the Government a penny. This is just the beginning of our involvement with the campaign and we will be doing everything we can to convince Ministers to act.”
Expressing her gratitude for the Council’s support, Frances Molloy said: “I’d like to thank Cllr Lewis, Cllr Davies and all Wirral Councillors for their support. Our campaign has gathered real momentum with Maria Eagle MP leading the charge in Parliament and local authorities like Liverpool and Wirral supporting tyred. We are not going to stop until the Government acts to ban the use of dangerously out of date tyres on buses and coaches.”
Anyone who would like to find out more about tyred can visit www.tyred.org.uk for further information.