The NTDA has welcomed the announcement by Northern Ireland’s Vehicle Policy Unit at the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) that following the results of its public consultation period, it will now proceed to ban tyres aged 10 years and older on the front axles of HGV’s, buses and coaches, and to the tyres on all axles of minibuses when fitted in single configuration. The changes being implemented in Northern Ireland will align with the changes introduced in GB on 1 February 2021.
The restriction will also apply to re-treaded tyres, where the date of re-treading will be used to determine the age of the tyre. There will be no requirement for the date marking to be displayed in any orientation and hence no material costs. There will be an exemption for 2 groups of vehicles:
- Those vehicles that are currently exempt from tyre roadworthiness regulations (including agricultural tractors that travel at low speeds) to remain consistent with existing legislation.
- Historic vehicles that are currently exempt from roadworthiness testing, providing they are not used commercially. The DfI says that it recognises that historic vehicles are usually well-maintained, are used infrequently and do not travel at high speeds.
The regulations will apply to drivers or operators of non-compliant vehicles on Northern Irelands roads, regardless of the country of registration. DfI will bring forward amending legislation to put the decisions set out in this document into effect, with an implementation period of 3 months.
NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay said: “The DfI’s consultation period ran for 8 weeks from 24th October 2022 to 18th December 2022 and we very surprised to learn that the NTDA’s response was one of only 12 formal responses received by the Vehicle Policy Unit. We are, therefore, elated at the news that the DfI intends to introduce the ban and bring Northern Ireland in line with the existing ban in GB. We would also like to acknowledge, once again, the phenomenal campaign work of Frances Molloy, who following the tragic death of her son Michael in a coach crash in 2012 caused by a 19-year-old tyre, campaigned relentlessly for the ban in GB which was finally introduced in February 2021. Common sense has prevailed and we hope that we will never see another tragedy caused by old tyres on UK roads again!”