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New legislation is to come into force after years of battling and will see tyres which are 10 years old and more banned from lorries, buses and coaches on roads in England, Scotland and Wales.
It is a hard-won victory for the mum who has been calling for a change in the law ever since her son, Michael, was killed in a crash while travelling back from the Bestival music festival in September 2012.
A spokesman for the Tyred campaign for which Frances received backing from across the UK said: “We welcomed a last-minute invitation to speak this morning with Roads Minister Baroness Vere and Government official for the Department of Transport, Bernie Frost, who shared with us plans to finally progress the new legislation to ban old tyres.
“The ban comes following research conducted by the Department of Transport which indicated ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.”
The findings echo the belief which Frances and her Tyred team have long since held, but it was a massive move forward for the campaign.
“Firstly, added the spokesman, “we would like to state that the latest Government announcement is a positive step forward for the Tyred campaign and road safety.
“It is a significant milestone in our campaign, which is largely due to the overwhelming public support we have received.”
Today Frances Molloy, founder of @tyreduk has been to Bristol to meet Pauline Mitchell, a mum of someone else killed on the roads due to an old tyre, and they're teaming up to fight for change.
— The Guide Liverpool (@TheGuideLpool) March 9, 2020
Frances led the move to for it to be made illegal for a coach or bus to use tyres more than 10 years old, stressing constantly: “The Government has to act. It has to do something before we lose more lives.
“They have waited and wasted too much time already. How many deaths will it take?”
It was on September 10, 2012, that Frances’ life changed for ever.
Michael, 18, 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 was killed, along with two others, Kerry Ogden, 23, and Colin Daulby, 63.
The tyre which blew was 19 ½ years old!
It was her desire to get justice for the son she loved which inspired Frances to launch the Tyred Campaign.
And she vowed never to give up: “To give up would be saying it was okay that Michael was killed. And it wasn’t.”
Her perseverance has finally paid off.
The new date for the legislation to be passed has been confirmed as January 2021 but the Tyred team have vowed to follow and monitor the progress Government makes closely as it will already be a year AFTER the original date of December 2019.
The campaigners still believe the new legislation will not go far enough: “Our concern remains that not implementing a total ban on old tyres still leaves a ‘loophole’ for operators who do not have safety as their number one priority.
“We are also clear that not having a complete ban still presents a significant safety risk on our roads.
“Our campaign is focused on banning tyres 10 years or older from our roads. This announcement is a significant achievement. However, we still believe a total ban is the best course of action to ensure no further lives are lost.”
That said, Tyred thanked supporters for making today’s massive step forward possible.
“Without the continued efforts of all Tyred supporters, we could not have made this significant progress and we want to thank all who have backed the campaign. We welcome your ongoing support, commitment and love.”
Over the years, Frances has received massive support from people like MP Maria Eagle, and she got further support from lawyer and TV presenter Judge ‘Robert’ Rinder.
But much came from the city itself. Frances said: “This city gets behind people like no other. Liverpool does not like injustice as we have seen from the huge support given to the Hillsborough families during their years of campaigning.
“It is that which has held me together – that and my two other sons Liam and Joe. That has held me together and helped me to carry on.”
And she added: “As I have said before, I hope one day to be able to say that Michael’s death has not been in vain, and that there’s been a level of justice.
“I will know that I’ve done as much as I can and perhaps changed the outcome for someone else. I will know I have done the right thing.
“To lose Michael was devastating. To know it didn’t need to happen is torture. I will continue to do everything I can to save other people, other mums, from having to go through that.”
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