Frances Molloy says a date for Tyred law change means she’s finally achieved what she set out to do for her son
3 years ago
Frances Molloy has spoken of her relief and joy that the new legislation she has so tirelessly campaigned for will come into force next year.
A letter from the Roads Minister Charlotte Vere has confirmed that the law governing tyres will change on February 1, 2021.
Frances said she never doubted this day would come and added: “I feel that I have finally done what I set out to do, and had to do, for my son.
“I am his mum. Who else was going to do this for him?
“Who else was going to make sure his life meant something, except me.
“It’s been a very long campaign and between us all we have achieved this law so that this can never happen again to another family.”
But she also admitted: “It has hit me very hard.
“I have really struggled over the last couple of days. I have broken down at my desk at work.
“Perhaps I have never been able to properly grieve for Michael because I have had this campaign, this fight for justice for him, to focus on.
“And it is quite daunting to feel I am finally going to have to face that.
“I have had so much pain again.”
We spoke to Fran in February of this year before the new legislation was passed:
It is a hard-won victory for the Liverpool mum who has been calling for a change in the law ever since her 18-year-old son, Michael, was killed.
Michael was on his way back from Bestival on the Isle of Wight when a blow-out caused the coach he was travelling in to veer off the road and into a tree. He died, along with two others, Kerry Ogden, 23, and Colin Daulby, 63.
The tyre which blew was 19 ½ years old!
It was Frances’ desire to get justice for the son she loved which inspired her to launch the Tyred Campaign.
And, while she learned of victory in July – only now has the exact date of a change in the law been officially confirmed.
A letter from Charlotte Vere, the Transport Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, to MP Maria Eagle dated October 29 confirmed the new law will be effective from February 1, 2021.
And she said it was as a direct result of the Tyred campaign.
Charlotte, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, said: “I wrote to you earlier this week to explain that a Statutory Instrument would be laid that will ban the use of tyres aged 10 years or more on the front (steering) axles of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, buses and coaches. I also advised that the ban would apply to all axles of a minibus unless that axle was equipped with twin wheels.
“I am pleased to confirm that the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, were made today. They are subject to a 3-month implementation period and will come into force on 1 February 2021.”
And she added: “This road safety measure comes from the tragic accident in September 2021 that led to Michael, Kerry and Colin losing their lives. I congratulate your commitment to this cause, and the tireless efforts of Mrs Molloy and the Tyred Campaign to bring about this change.”
It has been a long and difficult journey for Frances and her supporters, with a fight lasting eight years.
She says: “I think although, like I say, I knew this day would come, and I never queried it would happen, seeing it in writing hit me quite hard.
“I work for a law firm now and I am surrounded by lawyers who are saying how incredible it is, that it’s not an easy feat to change the law. And I have never looked at it like that.
“It’s never been how I have gone about it.
“It has always been about an injustice to my son and getting that made right, along with the thought that other people were going to die as a result of old tyres – people ignoring something that was catastrophic, and that was preventable.
“It wasn’t easy. The system is geared up to not change laws, it will push back.
“This is something that will affect the entire country and an industry will have a whole new way of working. I hadn’t previously thought about it on that scale.”
However delighted, though, Frances, admits that one thing will never change: “I will forever remain a heartbroken mum.”
She says: “It’s like the grieving process is there all over again.
“Or maybe I have been so focused on the campaign and getting the law changed that I have never grieved properly for Michael.
“Maybe there are things I have never really dealt with and things I now have to face.
“It’s like reality is now starting to hit and it’s all coming back. And, after eight years, I have got to move forward.”
Frances has taken a less senior professional role to others she has previously held to relieve herself of some of the responsibilities she had, responsibilities she no longer felt strong enough to deal with.
“I’m now in a position where I’m not the one in charge, I don’t have to behave in a certain way and I can let go a little.
“Michael – like my other sons Joe and Liam – was my world and it was incredible to me that anyone would think his life was worth less than anyone else’s.