National Express supports tyred campaign

Steve Rotheram, Vinay Parmar, Ann O'Byrne, Francis Molloy, Lord Mayor Malcolm Kennedy, Maria Eagle, Stefan Hay

A NEW national tyre safety campaign, tyred, has announced its first commercial supporter after the UK’s largest coach operator, National Express, pledged its backing for the campaign.

tyred, which is seeking to ban the use of tyres older than ten years on passenger service vehicles (buses, coaches and minibuses), is spearheaded by Frances Molloy. Frances is the Mother of Michael Molloy who tragically lost his life at the age of 18 after the coach he was on crashed when travelling back from the music festival, Bestival. The crash also claimed the lives of 23 year old Kerry Ogden, 53 year old driver Colin Daulby and left others with life changing injuries.

The fatal crash was caused by a tyre that was nearly 20 years old, prompting the Coroner who oversaw the inquest to issue a formal Report to Prevent Future Deaths, appealing to the Government for legislation to be changed. However, the Department of Transport failed to change the legislation and instead chose to simply amend guidelines which only recommend, but crucially do not require, that tyres over 10 years should not be fitted.

As well as raising public awareness and encouraging people to lobby their MPs for a change in the law, tyred is also working to secure support for the campaign from the passenger transport industry. The announcement of National Express as tyred’s first commercial supporter is seen as a significant landmark as the campaign bids to demonstrate that a ban on tyres older than ten years is workable. National Express are the UK’s largest coach operator with a fleet of 550 coaches travelling around 195,000 miles every day.

Speaking about National Express’ support for the campaign, Chris Hardy, Managing Director of National Express Coach, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we value the wellbeing of our employees, customers and the public above all else, so we fully back this important campaign.

“As the UK’s largest coach operator we aim to set an example to the rest of the industry by demonstrating that you can’t compromise when it comes to tyre safety, our support for the Tyred Campaign underlines our commitment to this. We hope our involvement will help to bring about a legislative change as quickly as possible.”

Frances Molloy welcomed the support of National Express by saying: “It’s fantastic to have National Express join us, spreading the message to their passengers, young and old, that safety comes first. It’s time the Government acted to prevent any further tragedies. A ban on tyres older than ten years is common sense and whenever I speak to people about the campaign, they are shocked that this law isn’t already in place.

“Having National Express on board gives us a UK wide platform for us to promote our clear message that safety comes before profit. It’s fantastic to have the UK’s largest coach operator as our first commercial supporter and we hope other responsible operators will do the right thing and sign up to support the campaign soon.”