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Potholes on the A406 from staples corner heading to Hangerlane

Beware of the inside lane on the Staplescorner flyover, the rain has destroyed the drains and large potholes have appeared, if you hit one of these you will ruin your tyre and maybe even damage your suspension.


90% Of Part-Worn Tyres 'Dangerous'

People looking to save a few pounds on the running costs of their car are putting themselves at risk by buying part-worn tyres that do not even meet the minimum legal requirements, a study has revealed. Trading standards officers from Birmingham City Council have uncovered evidence showing that 90% of all part-worn tyres fall short of the expected standard and are putting drivers and other road users at risk.

Motorists have been warned that, despite high petrol costs, the recession and inflation running at 3.7%, they shouldn't take such huge risks with their safety and have been urged to reduce their spending in other ways such as looking for cheaper car insurance deals.

Of the part-worn tyres examined in Birmingham, nine out of 10 were dangerous.

Among the failures were tyres which had nails embedded, illegal tread depth, exposed cords, inadequate markings and one tyre which was 17 years old.

The investigation comes just weeks after TyreSafe found that more than one in 10 drivers is more likely to buy part-worn tyres compared with 12 months ago.

"The results from the Birmingham investigation are extremely worrying and confirm our worst fears about part-worn tyres," explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. "Although guidelines do exist about the condition of tyres being sold as part worns, they are clearly not being adhered to by all traders. The types of faults found are extremely dangerous and if fitted to a vehicle, could have caused serious accident and injury. This serves as a warning to drivers and we would re-iterate our position that we would always recommend fitting brand new tyres." As such a safety critical component, many regulations govern the sale of part worn tyres. Among them tyres must be permanently marked as part worn, they must have at least 2mm of tread depth around the whole tyre and the original grooves must be clearly visible in their entirety.


Under inflated tyres could cost 15p per Litre

Millions of motorists worried about fuel costs hitting 150 pence per litre in the next few weeks could be typically wasting 15 pence or more on every litre they use because their tyres are under inflated.

One of the world's top 10 tyre companies, GT Radial says that an average 5PSI under inflation can easily mean an increase in petrol and diesel consumption of around 10% or even more.

The problem is compounded as the UK's weather starts to warm up, meaning that tyres will start to lose air more quickly than during the winter months.


TPMS and the MOT

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, also known as TPMS will soon become a legal requirement of the MOT test. As of November 1st 2012 all new passenger car models must be fitted with TPMS and a non working TPMS system will be an advisory on the MOT test from 1st January 2012. As from January next year, all taxis will be required to have the TPMS system working to pass the MOT and this will then become the same for all TPMS fitted vehicles as of the start of 2015. This legislation was put into place, by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), following a study of road traffic accidents involving under inflated tyres.


Driving in Snow and Ice

Driving in snow and ice This is what the Institute of Advanced Motorists recommends. When driving in snow, get your speed right - not too fast so that you risk losing control, but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when you need it - and brake, steer and accelerate as smoothly as possible. Start gently from stationary, avoiding high revs. If you get yourself into a skid the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the pedals and steer. Only use the brake if you cannot steer out of trouble. Double or even triple your normal stopping distance from the vehicle in front. Drive so that you do not rely on your brakes to be able to stop - on an icy surface they simply may not do that for you! If your vehicle has ABS in very slippery conditions it will not give you the same control it would in others. Do not rely on it. Plan your journey around busier roads as they are more likely to have been gritted. Avoid using shortcuts on minor roads - they are less likely to be cleared or treated with salt, especially country lanes. On motorways stay in the clearest lane where possible, away from slush and ice. Keep within the clear tyre tracks if you can. Stay in a higher gear for better control, and if it is slippery, in a manual car move off in a higher gear, rather than just using first. On a downhill slope get your speed low before you start the descent, and do not let it build up - it is much easier to keep it low than to try to slow down once things get slippery In falling snow use dipped headlights or foglights to make yourself visible to others (especially pedestrians) - but as conditions improve make sure your foglights are only on if necessary as they can dazzle other drivers If you are following another vehicle at night, using their lights to see ahead can cause you to drive dangerously close - keep well back from other traffic. What to do if you get stuck in the snow Hundreds of drivers have been caught out by the weather in recent days. While it can be dangerous there are ways to avoid the worst effects of spending hours in a cold car, miles from anywhere. First of all, make sure you have packed your emergency snow kit. This should include warm clothing, some food, water and a mobile phone. If you are trapped in your car, you can stay warm by running the engine. However, it is vital that the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow. If the engine fumes cannot escape, you could be overwhelmed by carbon monoxide gas, which is highly toxic. If there is any risk the fumes can come into the car, do not run the engine. Even if it is safe, do not run the engine for more than 10 or 15 minutes in each hour. Stay in or close to your car. In heavy snow it is easy to get disorientated and lost or separated from your vehicle. If necessary you can always hang a piece of brightly coloured cloth on your car to let others know you are there.


Winter tyres

Did anybody have problems over the weekend with the snow? I had to rescue about a dozen people in my local retail park because of a small slope that leads to a set of traffic lights. This involved a fair ammount of pushing car onto the only part of the road that was clear so they could get some grip, some people had no problems, why you ask? well they either had a four wheel drive or they had fitted winter tyres, these are great at gripping the road when the temprature drops enabeling them to still control the car. So if you would like to be in the situation that a little bit of snow does not stop you call hometyre and get your winter tyres now before then next small fall of snow.


Goodyear commended for their part worn tyre dangers campaign

The Goodyear and Dunlop team in the United Kingdom have received rave reviews for their campaign to highlight the dangers of fitting part worn tyres to cars. The method of saving money, which sees drivers asking for cheaper part worn tyres from garages has become a big story in the news, as trading standards officers have found problems with the practice in several counties.

Whilst most main stream garages will not even entertain the idea of part worn tyres, some backstreet garages have been fitting the tyres, many of which may have hidden problems with the structure of the tyre which could lead to accidents in the future.

Goodyear have been keen to highlight these dangers, and want customers to avoid the practice, pointing out that the part worn market is very dangerous because of its lack of policing.

The brand received backing from Wholesale Director, Alan Baldwin of Micheldever Tyres, who described their campaign as an, “excellent initiative in exposing the dangers of part worn tyres to the consumer”.

He added, “Amongst all the tyre manufacturers, Goodyear has clearly grasped the horrendous dangers of what the almost totally un-policed and dangerous part worn market means to the consumers safety and pockets…Goodyear’s excellent flyer (“The Ugly Truth about Part Worns) is the best information a consumer could be given and should be applauded by the entire industry.”

Goodyear brand ambassador, Quentin Wilson revealed, “Tyresafe has also worked tirelessly with trading standards around the UK to further highlight the issue, and we at MTS have seen it as a duty to our customers to produce tens of thousands of anti–dangerous part worn flyers for distribution around the UK.”

According to some reports, the part worn tyre market has boomed in the recession, with some arguing that it had grown 50% in a year, with over two million part worn tyres sold a year. Baldwin disagreed, adding, : “UK tyre Retailers are under pressure like never before, recessionary pressures on consumers’ pockets, reductions in car usage, and massive pressure on retail prices due to national retailer discounting are all causing immense problems, but why should they suffer further sales attrition from the uncontrolled growth in the illegal part worn market which we firmly believe contrary to recent reports is nearer 5 million units a year.”

He called on the industry to follow the example set by Goodyear, and asked them to, “publicise and expose this disgraceful trade that offers horrendous risks to the consumer…For how much longer will the UK be Europe’s scrap casing dump?”


Winter tyres start to take off

Cautious Start to UK Winter Tyre Sales

Industry research specialists Encircle Marketing has revealed that, in November, the widely expected Winter Tyre Season started cautiously but towards the end of the month, started to gather some significant momentum.

Encircle called a cross selection of outlets in the first 2 weeks of the month and then called the same outlets again in the last 2 weeks of the month. By incorporating this method Encircle were able to garner initial feedback to potential Callers and how this then evolved as the temperatures started to drop.

Mystery Shoppers rung acting as potential Customers and enquired as to the cost for a set of Winter Tyres given the extreme weather experienced last year (and not wanting to be caught out again). In addition, they mentioned that they had seen advertisements in the press for Winter Tyres and were inquisitive about them.


Have you checked your tyres?

UK motorists are risking the perils of winter driving by placing their safety in the hands of their dads, as it appears the majority of people do not know how to check if their tyres meet legal driving requirements.

With The Highways Agency urging motorists to prepare for winter, a survey of Just Car Clinics customers has revealed that three quarters of those questioned did not know the legal requirement for minimum tyre tread and more worryingly, 65% did not even know how to check if their tyres were worn. Of those that were in the dark, 40% said their dad still proved to be the go-to-guy when looking for expert guidance on whether their tyres remained legal and safe. A further 23% of customers played a dangerous waiting game by leaving a tyre inspection until their MOT was due.


M1 southbound at the junction with the A406 broken down lorry

A lorry has broken down just before the A406 junction with the M1 southbound, 2 lanes closed.


M4 traffic on the flyover juction 2 heading for london

One lane is blocked on the M4 flyover heading into London at junction 2.


Bad traffic clockwise at junction 23 on the M25

Bad traffic clockwise at junction 23 on the M25 due to a load of potatoes having been spilt.


Big bills for MoT failures possible from next year.

A radical shake-up of the MoT test will leave motorists liable for astronomical bills to repair electronic stability control (ESC) systems from next year.

The new rules - required under EU law - will also see equipment like electric seat adjustment motors and factory-fitted tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) added to the Department for Transport’s annual test of Roadworthiness.

ESC will become mandatory on new cars from 1st November 2012, but the rules don’t only apply to new vehicles, or systems that came as standard - they apply to any vehicle that has it fitted.

20 car manufacturers in the UK where contacted to find out how much ESC could cost to repair. But it’s so complicated that many firms couldn’t give them an answer.

Those that could say said that the bill could top £2,000. Repairing an electric seat adjustment motor can cost upwards of £1,500 and replacing a TPMS system will set you back almost £500.

Motoring groups have voiced concern that the new rules will apply retrospectively, rather than to cars registered from 1st January 2012, when the changes kick in. AA President Edmund King said, “We do think it’s correct that the MoT test keeps up with technology - that’s a move in the right direction. But if you look at other technology legislation, you are normally given a date from which it applies. “Some people will be caught out unfairly because they were early adopters. A degree of flexibility with older vehicles would have been good.”

So will the price of the MoT test go up? - Not immediately. A Department for Transport spokeswoman said, “There are currently no plans to increase the MoT fee next year.” However, the MoT Trade Forum has confirmed that the changes will increase the time it takes to conduct a test by nearly five minutes. Chairman Jim Punter said “The MoT test trade will be pushing for either the time to be reduced or the fee to be increased.”

Am I more likely to fail the MoT Test? - Yes, according to Jim Punter. “I think it will lead to more failures,” he said. “We’ll be now be testing for the condition of the electrical wiring and the battery - I believe that will lead to more failures.” Will it affect prices for used cars with ESC? - Possibly. Valuation expert CAP says the jury is still out. But Mark Bulmer, editor of its Black Book guide, said; “It depends whether the desire for safety outweighs potential extra costs. I wouldn’t risk a £2,000 bill on a £4,000 car.”


M1 traffic problem

M1 heading south just after the M25, traffic master indicates that the speed in 0mph.


M25 traffic problems

The M25 has 2 lanes closed anti clock at junction 23, tail back to junction 24. Keep clear.


Hometyre traffic report

Traffic is slow heading west at the Henleys Corner due to road works. Delays are about 30 mins.


Hometyre news on winter driving in Europe

Had a customer today who will be making trips the Germany and he wanted advice on Winter tyres. I was able to give him the info but just in case anybody else is thinking of travelling in Europe maybe this Half term, for a winter market or a ski trip then this might help you.

European winter tyre laws (Alphabetical)


Winter tyres; mandatory from 01/11 – 15/04, minimum of 4mm Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 31/03, maximum speed 37mph highway/56mph motorway, speed rating stickers mandatory Extras – snow chains may be used on the drive wheels (in combination with summer tyres) as an alternative. Safety vest and warning signs mandatory


Winter tyres; no regulations Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 31/03, maximum speed 50mph highway/62mph motorway Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory


Winter tyres; no regulations Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; snow chains are mandatory from 01/11 – 31/03, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory


Winter tyres; mandatory in wintry conditions, minimum 4mm tread depth Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; snow chains, safety vest and warning triangles are compulsory

Czech Republic

Winter tyres; highly recommended and can mandated by signs Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; snow chains mandatory in signed areas, warning sign also mandatory


Winter tyres; no regulations Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 15/04 Extras; snow chains and safety vest recommended, warning triangle mandatory


Winter tyres; compulsory 01/12 – 28/02, although this date can vary depending on conditions – minimum 3mm tread depth Spiked tyres; permitted 01/10 – 01/03 Extras; snow chain, safety vest and warning triangle are all recommended


Winter tyres; mandatory, minimum 3mm of tread Spiked tyres; permitted 01/11 – 31/03, maximum 1.2mm height above tyre surface Extras; chains are not regulated, safety vest recommended and warning triangles are compulsory


Winter tyres; not mandatory, but are required when indicated by signs, this is often the case in the Alps Spiked tyres; only allowed 01/11 – 31/03 on special ‘public’ vehicles, speed stickers mandatory Extras; snow chains can be mandated by signs, safety vest and warning triangles are also mandatory


Winter tyres, mandatory in wintry conditions – not for caravans/trailers Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras, snow chains mandatory, safety vest recommended

Further info; on the 4th December 2010, new regulations regarding winter tyre requirements were introduced in Germany. This new regulation applies to all motorised vehicles using roads in Germany, including those registered abroad so vehicles registered in the United Kingdom are affected. It is now prohibited to use summer tyres in Germany during winter weather conditions. Winter weather conditions include black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost. Please bear in mind that these conditions may also be present even if the temperature is above 0 degrees. German law specifies that the tyres must be winter tyres or all season tyres designed for use in wintry conditions. Suitable tyres will normally be marked with a snow flake or snowy mountains symbol. Motorists, whose car is equipped with summer tyres may not take the car on the road in winter weather conditions. Motorists in violation face fines of €20. If they actually obstruct traffic, the fine is €40. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change.


Winter tyres; recommended Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; snow chains, warning triangle and safety vest are mandatory


Winter tyres; recommended, can be held liable for collision damage and can be mandated by signs Spiked tyres; allowed 15/11 – 15/03, maximum speed 56mph highway/75mph motorway Extras; snow chains, warning triangle and safety vest are mandatory


Winter tyres; mandatory for all vehicles inc caravans/trailers Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 01/04 Extras; snow chains and safety vest are recommended, warning signs are mandatory


Winter tyres; recommended Spiked tyres; allowed 01/12 – 31/03, maximum speed 56mph highway/75mph motorway Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle are mandatory


Winter tyres; mandatory, minimum 3mm tread depth Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 01/03 Extras; safety vest recommended, warning triangle compulsory


Winter tyres; no regulations Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; safety vest recommended and warning signs mandatory


Winter tyres; mandatory in wintry conditions Spiked tyres; allowed 16/10 – 30/04, maximum height above tyre 1.2mm Extras; snow chains recommended, warning triangle mandatory


Winter tyres; not a legal requirement however because there is minimal snow clearing on country roads driving without winter tyres is a major risk Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; snow chains are mandatory as is a warning triangle, safety vests are advisable


Winter tyres; no regulations Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; safety vest is recommended and warning triangles are mandatory


Winter tyres; recommended Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; safety vest is recommended and warning triangles are mandatory


Winter tyres; not compulsory but either winter tyres or chains can become mandated by signs Spiked tyres; allowed 15/11 – 30/03 Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory


Winter tyres; mandatory, must have a minimum of 3mm of tread, also applicable for trailers Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 30/04, maximum height above tyre 1.2mm Extras; Snow chains and safety vests are recommended, warning triangles are mandatory


Winter tyres; legal requirement between 15/11 – 1/03, minimum tread depth is 4mm Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; Snow chains, safety vests and warning triangles are all mandatory.


Winter tyres; legal requirement between 15/11 – 1/03, minimum tread depth is 4mm Spiked tyres; forbidden Extras; Snow chains, safety vests and warning triangles are all mandatory


Winter tyres; recommended, if you have an accident and are not using winter tyres and it is deemed that they should have been used then you can be held liable. Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 30/04, forbidden on motorways Extras; snow chains are optional but can be mandated by signs, warning triangle mandatory


Treadcam being trialed

This is an artical I have seem in the metro new paper in London.

'Treadcam' sensor snares drivers that have tyres below legal limit

Motorists fed up with speed cameras will have their moods lowered even further by a new police scanner that can tell whether a car tyre is below the legal limit.

Caught in a trap: The tyre device has lasers and could be used in Britain. The ‘treadcam’ is placed on a road and uses lasers to check the state of tyres on passing vehicles. Details of any tyres below the legal limit are sent to waiting police officers down the road, who then pull over the driver. The £43,000 device has been criticised by the RAC, which said it should not be a priority for police at a time when resources are tight.

The ProContour machine is made in Germany and members of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) visited the country to see it.

A car drives over a Procontour inforcement camera It is sunk into the surface of the road to scan tyres, with information about those below the limit sent electronically to officers. They then conduct a separate test.

Offending motorists could be hit with a points penalty or fine. Any decision to bring in the equipment would be made by individual police forces, ACPO said. Adrian Tink, RAC motoring strategist, questioned the police’s possible use of the machine. ‘Should this be a priority when resources are limited?,’ he said. ‘That £43,000 could fill a lot of potholes, and issues such as drink-driving or driving while using a mobile are more important.’ He added: ‘Anything that improves safety is welcome, but motorists are going to be left scratching their heads if they start getting fines or points for their tyres.’


Police trial an automatic tread depth reader

I have heard on the radio that police are trialing an automatic tread depth reader. They unit is put on the road, the car drives over the reader and if your tread depth is below the legal minimum (1.6mm) 100 yards up the road you are pulled over by the police. The penalty for an illegal tyre is 3 points per tyre and up to £2500, remember this is per tyre not per stop by the police. 4 illegal tyres and you will be off the road. So keep an eye on your tyres because getting replacements before you are illegal is cheaper and safer.


M1 closed juction 5 to 4 heading into London

The M1 is closed between junction 5 and 4 heading into london.


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