15 May 2015

The manager of a tyre and vehicle maintenance centre in Basingstoke Road, Reading, is urging local motorists to check their tyres ahead of the half-term getaway, reporting that one in five tyres his team have replaced this year has been in an illegal condition.

Bert Barry, Centre Operations Manager of ATS Euromaster Reading, says: “Motorists need to take greater responsibility for the safety of their vehicles – this means checking the tyres at least once a month and addressing any safety concerns before a tyre becomes illegal.”

Giving an example, he says: “We had a Citroën C4 Picasso limp in with a puncture the other day, towing a boat and en route to Belgium with four adults on board. When we went to inspect the puncture we found all four tyres were almost completely bald.”

The owner had reported that the car had only been serviced by a main dealer four months prior; highlighting why it’s essential to check tyres more regularly.

“Punctures are normally bad luck, but this one turned out to be a stroke of good fortune for the customer. It allowed us to identify and remove the illegal tyres, getting him back on the road quickly and safely. Their journey could easily have had a very different ending.”

A bald tyre, or one with the steel cords visible, is a ticking time bomb which risks losing its structure with every rotation. As the only part of a vehicle in contact with the road’s surface, the impact upon vehicle handling and stopping distances is significant.

Bert, 49, has worked at ATS Euromaster for five years and has been in the motor industry since leaving school. He heads a seven-man team at the Basingstoke Road centre, which has five bays and undertakes everything from tyre and fast-fit work, to vehicle servicing and MOTs. His centre is one of 10 ATS Euromaster sites within 20 miles of Reading, and more than 340 nationwide.

ATS Euromaster advises motorists to check their tyre tread depth, condition and pressures at least once a month and before any long journey. Motorists can also call into any ATS Euromaster centre for a free tyre safety check – with no obligation, and no appointment required.

Department for Transport statistics from 2013 show that illegal, defective or underinflated tyres were the most common vehicle defect contributing to accidents in Great Britain where a Police officer attended the scene.

Tyres and the law

If you drive with damaged or extremely worn tyres you risk being fined, receiving points on your driving license, invalidating your vehicle insurance policy and endangering lives.

Car and van tyres must be fit for purpose. This means being compatible with the tyres fitted to the other wheels, not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the structure, not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord. Furthermore, no part of the ply or cord can be exposed.

The remaining tread depth must also be at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference.

For expert tyre advice visit your local ATS Euromaster centre or


About ATS Euromaster

Birmingham-based ATS Euromaster Ltd, part of the Euromaster Group, was established in 1965 and operates approximately 345 centres, more than 820 service vans and employs nearly 2,600 people, providing coverage across Great Britain. It is the country’s largest comprehensive tyre distributor, supplying tyres for cars, vans, trucks, buses/coaches, materials handling equipment, agricultural machinery and construction plant. The company’s expertise also extends to car and van service, maintenance and repair (SMR), including: menu-driven servicing, Class IV & Class VII MoT tests, brakes, batteries, shock absorbers, oil, exhausts, fault diagnostics and air-conditioning servicing. ATS Euromaster is accredited by both safecontractor and the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS) and has been granted a Royal Warrant as tyre specialists to Her Majesty The Queen. It is also an official ‘industry partner’ to the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme. For further information visit:

Note to editor: For press information visit ATS Euromaster’s online newsroom or contact James Boley or James Keeler on 020 8647 4467, or by email to /