Tyres aged 10 years and older will be banned from HGVs in England, Scotland and Wales, under new rules to help improve road safety.

The ban, which will also affect buses and coaches, follows an extensive investigation, including research commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), which indicated ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.

The move will make it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses.

The DfT said tyres fitted in twin configuration will not be included, since a failure of one tyre in a pair presents a lower risk of loss of directional control or stability.

Both new and re-tread tyres are already required to be marked with their date of manufacture which can be used to determine their age.

The new requirement means the date marking must be maintained in a legible form.

The DfT research associated corrosion of the steel components of a tyre and hardening of the rubber with its age.

It said secondary legislation will be laid in the autumn and will also apply to re-treaded tyres - with the date of re-treading to be marked – making the age of the tyre clearly visible.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “In the same way that you wouldn’t drive a car with faulty brakes, ensuring your tyres are fit for purpose is crucial in making every journey safer.

“Taking this step will give drivers across the country confidence their lorries, buses and coaches are truly fit for use – a safety boost for road users everywhere.”

The government will also be asking the DVSA to continue checking tyre age as part of their routine roadside enforcement activities, and adding an additional assessment to the MOT test.

Traffic Commissioners will also be notified of repeated non-compliances, which could be taken into account in any review of their O-licence.

In a consultation last year, the RHA expressed concerns about proposals to ban tyres over 10 years old on all trucks and trailers.

However, Tom Cotton, RHA head of licensing and infrastructure policy told motortransport.co.uk: “We’re pleased that the government has listened to our views and is legislating in respect of front axles only.

“This is a reasonable precautionary measure to keep road users safe.”