ALMOST half of part-worn tyres being sold to the public in Barnsley were found to be not fit for use, according to an investigation carried out by enforcement officers.

Part-worn tyres are required to meet strict safety standards prior to resale to ensure that they are safe for use on the roads, but 45 per cent of tyres inspected were deemed to be dangerous.

However, 97 per cent were found to have minor issues such as a previous puncture repair, age-related deterioration and bulges.

Sellers across the town were visited as part of the scheme and the findings resulted in Barnsley Council admitting that ‘bad practices’ had been found during its own checks.

Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesperson for public health, said: “I hope this information acts as a stark reminder to anyone who is thinking about purchasing second-hand tyres.

“Our findings suggest that some sectors of the trade have developed bad practices which could be putting consumers at risk.

“Equally, traders need to take their responsibilities seriously. Recent examples have shown that the courts take a hard line of those who are shown to be flouting the law.

“Consumers may feel that they can get a bargain by purchasing second hand or others may have no choice. They have the right to demand that the products they buy are safe and legal.”

There are strict laws in place relating to the sale of used tyres, which mean that at the very least they must be safe to be put back onto a vehicle.

All businesses that were found to have defective tyres for sale will be re-inspected and formal action – including a prosecution which could lead to hefty fines being imposed through the court system – may be taken if further safety concerns are discovered.

Coun Charlie Wraith, chairman of the council’s licensing board, added: “It’s something we’re very keen to address as it could be a case of life or death – it is that serious and people shouldn’t be taking the risk.

“Our officers have done work alongside Trading Standards and we’ll continue to carry out spot-checks on those selling part-worn tyres.

“We’ve seen all sorts of issues in the past, including bald items and those with bulges on side walls which are obviously extremely dangerous and should not be fitted to a car.

“One area we’ve really improved is taxis’ conditions but it’s essential defective tyres are stopped from being available for sale.”