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Dated: 11 March 2009

Quieter Tyres after 2012


New European Laws, set to be introduced in 2012, will see manufacturers producing quieter, safer and more fuel efficient tyres. The new rules aim to make car, van and lorry tyres up to 50% quieter and although the new regulations have been backed by manufacturers , some environmentalists have claimed the regulations should be introduced sooner.

Michelins UK director of development, Bob Wilcox, has welcomed the introduction but warned that challenges lay ahead and time would be needed for research and development.  Other regulations being considered by the European parliament include clearer tyre labelling allowing consumers a beer understanding of road grip, fuel efficiency and noise levels of different tyre products.

Sarah Mukherjee, environment correspondent for the BBC, points out that. "When most people go to the garage for a new set of tyres, the main factor is the price. And yet, tyre manufacturers say, our lives depend on them.

"They point out that tyres are the only part of the car to make contact with the road, and at any one time an area of tyre no bigger than your palm is in contact on each tyre.

"It may well be that in the future, we are as well informed about our tyres as we are about our fridges, TVs, and indeed, our cars themselves."

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