Licensing a death trap - How safe is public transport?

Taxi fitted with 21-year old ILLEGAL part-worn tyre approved for a license with four separate councils!

In February 2020, a 7-year old vehicle was presented for testing as a private hire taxi with four different councils and passed with flying colours.

All four tyres on the vehicle were illegal and part worn. They ranged from 21,19,17 and 10 years old. One of which was a winter tyre imported from Germany.

Two of these tyres were seriously dangerous. One had an illegal repair to the sidewall and the other had two illegal repairs right next to each other.

Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens council all approved the potential "death trap taxi" as fit to hold a private hire license.

Each council has a trading standards department entrusted with protecting the safety of the public. One of their activities is visiting tyre garages to ensure they are adhering to regulations around part worn tyres. These include stringent testing and marking the tyres as part worn.

Given that councils actively enforce the law and take action against tyre dealers acting illegally it is shocking that they themselves are not even checking the tyres presented on vehicles entrusted to carry the general public.

It is alarming to think that the unsuspecting public can be driven around in a licensed vehicle with illegal tyres, over 20 years old which have also had unsafe, illegal repairs.

This is why we are calling for a complete BAN on part worn tyres being used on all passenger service vehicles (PSV's) It is clear even with regulations in place to ensure tyres are safe, the council themselves aren't adhering to them.

Thankfully, forward-thinking councils have already recognised that the safety of the public should be their main concern.

(Insert councils) prohibit the use of part worn tyres on taxis and private hire vehicles. Massive respect to them, hopefully, other councils nationally will follow their proactive lead.

Each licensing department with a stroke of a pen can enforce their own licensing conditions and only allow brand new, safe tyres, fitted by reputable establishments to be fitted to vehicles that carry the public. There is no need for any change in legislation from the government, each council can set their own rules.

It is of great concern that anyone can spend a few hundred pounds on second-hand equipment and sell dangerous used tyres without any form of training, qualification. No licenses are currently required.

It is a daily occurrence that tyres are being sold at car washes, scrap yards and even from peoples back gardens. This can lead to the wrong size tyres being fitted, some that are severely aged, damaged, illegal, and dangerous.

Please join us in spreading awareness around this potentially lethal practice. You can help to ensure the public's safety by signing our petition calling for a complete ban on the use of part worn tyres on all public transport vehicles, click here.

Would you be comfortable with you or your loved ones being transported in a vehicle with a 21-year old illegal tyre?

Why you should avoid part worn tyres


More than 40% of vehicle related deaths in the UK are caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.

False economy

Despite the initial lower expense, the cost of part worn tyres has been found to cost up to 18% more per mm of usable tread.

A TyreSafe study found that 98% of part worn tyres sold in the UK did not meet the legal requirements.

A TyreSafe study found that 98% of part worn tyres sold in the UK did not meet the legal requirements.

Sign our online petition

An online petition has been set up to ban the sale of part worn tyres across the UK. Please help save lives.

Sign the petition

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