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Free as air?

Petrol retailers should provide free, accurate and well-maintained tyre pressure gauges, according to the RAC Foundation after receiving complaints that gauges often are not working.

Wrongly inflated tyres contribute to accidents and increase fuel consumption yet one in three motorists only check their tyres before a long journey. Many essential forecourt airlines in motorway and other service stations all over the country are often damaged, inaccurate or out of order.

The RAC Foundation is now calling on all garage owners to insist that their franchisees safeguard the motoring public by ensuring that gauges are available and reliable. Trading Standards Departments of local authorities are being encouraged to carry out regular tests of their accuracy.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation says: “This is a major road safety issue raised by a significant number of motorists. Garage operators could do a lot to restore good relations with customers by providing reliable air equipment free of charge.

“In the UK, charging for air has been commonplace for years, justified by the argument that the equipment is expensive to install and maintain. Making the use of the kit free would encourage drivers to check pressures and help diffuse resentment about high fuel costs.”

A recent safety campaign carried out by the Tyre Industry Council in Scotland revealed that 90% of the cars they tested had under or over inflated tyres despite correct pressures being vital to safe handling, optimum steering, braking and grip.

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