Using tyres that are more than 10 years old on certain types of vehicles is to become illegal as part of an effort to improve road safety.
From February 2021 operators of lorries, buses and taxis will be banned from using older tyres on the front wheels and they will be banned from use at all on minibuses.
The move comes after research by the Department for Transport found that ageing tyres suffer corrosion that could cause them to fail, leading to accidents.
The ban means that any vehicle fitted with tyres that are aged 10 years and older will automatically fail its annual MOT test. It will also fail if the tyres do not display a date code, either for original manufacture or, in the case of re-treads, the date the re-treading was carried out.
If a vehicle is spotted with older tyres during a roadside inspection by DVSA enforcement officers it will be issued with an ‘S mark prohibition meaning the vehicle will have to be taken off the road until newer tyres are fitted.
Announcing the move, Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “In the same way that you wouldn’t drive a car with faulty brakes, ensuring your tyres are fit for purpose is crucial in making every journey safer.
“Taking this step will give drivers across the country confidence their lorries, buses and coaches are truly fit for use – a safety boost for road users everywhere.
“This change is in no small way the result of years of campaigning, particularly from Frances Molloy, to whom I thank and pay tribute.
Frances Molloy’s son Michael died in a coach crash in 2012 when the vehicle had a 19-year-old tyre fitted to the front axle. Since the accident, Mrs Molloy has campaigned to see the law changed.