Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood, was honoured with the prestigious Brake and Direct Line Group Parliamentarian of the Year award 2018 for her efforts driving the campaign to ban old tyres on public service vehicles through Parliament.

The campaign culminated in the Government recently announcing a consultation on banning tyres aged 10 or older on large vehicles with a view to bringing in the law by early 2020. [1]

Maria took up her parliamentary campaign on behalf of her constituent Frances Molloy, whose son Michael was tragically killed in 2012, alongside two others, when a coach crashed due to its nearside tyre bursting whilst in transit - the blow-out being deemed to be caused by the age of the tyre.

Mrs Molloy set up the ‘tyred’ campaign to prevent this tragedy happening to anyone else [2]. As part of the parliamentary campaign Maria tabled an Early Day Motion [3] and a 10 Minute Rule Bill [4] in the past year.

Brake’s Annual Reception saw hundreds of Brake supporters, volunteers and parliamentarians gather to celebrate the work of all who are involved in road safety in the UK, from community campaigners to national figureheads.

New Roads Minister, Michael Ellis MP, provided the event’s keynote remarks and Parliamentarian of the Year award was presented by Steve Maddock, Chief Operating Officer of Direct Line Group, sponsors of both the reception and the award.

Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, Maria Eagle MP said: “I’m proud to receive this award in recognition of the work I’ve been doing in Parliament on behalf of my constituent Frances Molloy and her “Tyred” campaign. Frances has been fighting to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from buses and coaches on our roads for many years ever since she tragically lost her 18 year old son Michael in 2012 when he was killed in a coach crash on the way home from a music festival. The crash was caused by the catastrophic blow out of a 19.5 year old tyre fitted to the coach – older than Michael but not unlawful.

“The Government’s recent announcement that they are consulting on banning these dangerous old tyres from our roads completely is testament to our efforts so far and we hope that the law will be changed by the end of this year when the Consultation closes. I hope as many people as possible will respond to the consultation so that together, we can finally ban dangerous old tyres from our roads once and for all.”

Steve Maddock, chief operating officer of Direct Line Group, said: “It is a great honour to be amongst so many people dedicated to making our roads safer. Their hard work and relentless campaigning has played a significant role in reducing the number of lives lost on our roads. I would especially like to thank Maria Eagle, the deserving winner of the Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, and congratulate her in encouraging the Government to consult on introducing the old tyre ban”.

Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake, said: “It is an honour and privilege to be able to celebrate all those who campaign for safer roads in the UK, from our local volunteers to parliamentarians and Ministers. Road safety affects us all and through the hard work of our fantastic supporters I know that we can achieve our vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries.

“Particular mention must also go to our Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, Maria Eagle MP, whose award is thoroughly deserved for pushing the campaign to ban old tyres on large vehicles through Parliament. It is testament to her efforts and those of her constituent, Frances Molloy, that the Government now looks set to introduce a ban, ensuring that no one else will lose their life because of an old tyre.”

Notes to Editors:

[1] DfT announcement on older tyres.

[2] ‘Tyred’ campaign

[3] Early Day Motion 167: Ageing tyres on public service vehicles

[4] Tyres (Buses and Coaches) Bill 2017-19