It’s not often politicians admit they are wrong and while the Transport Minister Philip Hammond didn’t exactly apologise about his recent controversial comments on winter tyres, he has conceded that they do handle better in icy conditions.
Hammond infuriated safety groups earlier this months when he stated that winter weather tyres are not appropriate for UK situations.
However, this week he conceded that winter tyres do handle better in icy conditions – even though he refused to go as far as to consider making their fitment mandatory in the UK, as they are in Germany and other EU countries.
In his latest statement to clarify his earlier comments, Hammond said, “I was trying to convey that in the circumstances of the UK, and given the cost of fitting winter tyres, I do not believe it appropriate to mandate their use.
“However I am happy to confirm on the record that for those who can afford winter tyres – not just the cost of buying them, but the costs of putting them on and changing them back at the end of winter, and of storing the summer tyres – they provide significant additional grip for motorists in such cold conditions.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office