An MP who campaigned to take old tyres off UK roads has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year.
Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood, was presented with the award by road safety charity Brake at a reception held at the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday 3 July.
Ms Eagle led a campaign to ban old tyres on public service vehicles through Parliament on behalf of her constituent Frances Molloy, whose son Michael was killed in a road crash in 2012.
The campaign culminated in the UK Government recently announcing a consultation on banning tyres more than 10 years old on buses and coaches, with a view to bringing in the law by early 2020.
Michael was one of three people killed when a coach crashed due to its nearside tyre bursting while in transit. The blow-out was later deemed to have been caused by the age of the tyre.
The ‘tyred’ campaign was set up to prevent similar tragedies from happening again, and this campaign saw Ms Eagle table an Early Day Motion and a 10 Minute Rule Bill in the past year.
Brake’s Annual Reception celebrates the achievements of road safety campaigners from across the UK, and thanks volunteers who have raised money for the charity.
Hundreds of supporters, volunteers and parliamentarians attended the event, including Minister of State for Transport Michael Ellis MP, who provided the evening’s keynote remarks.
Ms Eagle’s award was presented by Steve Maddock, chief operating officer of Direct Line Group, sponsors of both the reception and the award.
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.”
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 they 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.”