Experts from a Staffordshire insurance brokers have welcomed a change in the law that will improve safety standards for coach passengers.

Coachline – which has joined forces with the Henshalls Group in Newport to create one of the region’s largest independent brokers – is one of only a handful of brokers to specialise in bus, coach and minibus insurance.

And now, Phil Cutting for the Coachline division, says the latest announcement from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is great news for the industry.

“From now on, tyres that are over ten years old are banned on the front steered axles of lorries, buses and coaches, as well as all single wheels of minibuses with nine to 16 passenger seats.

“The new rules will be strictly enforced with increased roadside checks and tyres will be examined even more closely during routine annual tests.

“This is an important step forward in terms of improving the safety of passengers – and drivers – and we’re very pleased to see the changes come into force.”

Phil said alongside the rule changes, the DVSA had also strengthened the actions it could take if drivers were found to be breaking the law.

“Drivers could now face fixed penalty fines, points on their licence or even a prosecution if they commit more than one offence. So anyone found to be running on tyres over ten years old or with tyres that don’t have a clearly marked legitimate date on them could find themselves in serious trouble.”

To help drivers of buses, coaches and minibuses across Staffordshire and the wider Midlands, the Coachline division has launched an online portal specifically for commercial vehicle clients.

“Our Coachline team has access to leading commercial vehicle insurers and specialist underwriters so they can arrange cover that is tailored to meet the needs of each individual business client,” said Phil.

“And now clients can use the website to find out more about the cover that is available, as well as keeping up to date with all the latest industry news.”

Coachline is based on Weston Road, in Stafford, and like Henshalls, the firm is a member of Willis Towers Watson Networks (a partnership between selected independent insurance brokers and Willis Towers Watson, one of the world’s leading global brokers).