ATS and Brake want factory fit winter tyres on new vans 04 December 2012

ATS Euromaster has written to 38 of the largest van and car manufacturers in the UK, urging them to offer customers a choice of summer or winter tyres when ordering factory-built vehicles.

The tyre supplier says every additional car or van fitted with cold weather tyres during winter months will help to make the country's roads safer.

Modern rubber compound technology and advances in tread pattern design mean that today's cold weather tyres deliver considerably shorter stopping distances, says Columba Zaal, group operations director at ATS Euromaster.

They also ensure increased longevity, compared with summer tyres during winter motoring – conditions which normally see tyre life reduced by up to 20%, he claims.

"Tens of thousands of cars and vans are delivered during winter on rubber intended for summer conditions," insists Zaal.

"As a result, much of the investment in technology to improve vehicle handling and safety is negated at the crucial stage where a vehicle makes contact with the road," he continues.

"If active safety systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning can increasingly be offered as factory-fit options, why can't cold weather tyres?"

Road safety charity Brake agrees, adding that it believes it's crucial that vehicles are fitted with appropriate equipment for the conditions.

"Winter tyres are more effective than summer tyres in cold and icy conditions, as they improve grip on the road and allow drivers to react and stop more quickly in an emergency," explains Julie Townsend, the charity's deputy chief executive.

John Challen

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ATS Euromaster Ltd

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