Part-worn tyres concerns to be raised nationally by MP

Sandwell's Tom Watson will be raising the issue of illegal part-worn tyres at a national level following a shock survey carried out by the council's trading standards officers.

The West Bromwich East MP will be contacting the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, to raise his concerns about what he fears is a nationwide problem putting people's safety at risk.

Nearly half of the part-worn tyres bought in Sandwell by trading standards officers in a recent random check were found to be illegal.

The survey of 15 tyres bought at random from suppliers in the borough last month revealed seven were considered potentially dangerous by an independent expert. The check was to make sure dealers were complying with the law.

Regulations state that part-worn tyres need to be clearly marked as being ‘part-worn’, bear certain other markings, be free of major defects and still have at least 2mm of tread depth remaining.

None of the tyres tested complied with legislation requiring them to be clearly marked as ‘part-worn’.

Tom Watson said: “This problem is not unique to Sandwell and I will be contacting the Department for Transport to raise my concerns about the sale of illegal tyres, which potentially put drivers, passengers and other road users at serious risk.

“People may be particularly tempted to buy part-worn tyres in the current economic climate as a cheap option. But this shock survey shows how drivers need to be extra careful when buying them and always check the tyres are properly marked.”

Sandwell Council's cabinet member for trading standards Councillor Paul Moore said: “I am pleased that the work of our officers will be highlighted at a national level, to help raise greater awareness of this issue.

“Consumers need to be confident that the tyres they are buying are suitable and safe.

"It is a criminal offence for traders to supply tyres that do not conform to the regulations and any trader found doing so in Sandwell will face the appropriate action, which may include prosecution.”

Investigations are being carried out into the circumstances surrounding the sale of the tyres in the survey, which was carried out during the Safer 6 campaign, and a decision will subsequently be made about the appropriate action that should be taken.

The maximum penalty for selling dangerous tyres is a £5,000 fine, and/or six months imprisonment. In addition, the illegal tyres could be seized and destroyed.

Customers wishing to report a concern, or any trader looking for advice, can call 08454 04 05 06.

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