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Motorbike patrols now operating in London and five other major cities
On a busy city road a car with a flat tyre can delay thousands of motorists and make congestion worse. AA patrols on motorbikes can cut through the traffic to reach breakdowns more quickly.
By getting to and fixing the breakdown more quickly we can improve service to our members as well as helping to reduce congestion and emissions.
AA bike patrols are able to carry a remarkable range of tools and equipment considering the size of the machine and will target 'quick fix' breakdowns such as flat batteries, wheel changes and simple electrical faults. These cause over a third of all breakdowns.
The deployment of patrols on bikes in London in April 2008 was the first time the AA had used motorbikes to attend breakdowns since the mid-1990s.
In urban areas, a broken down car often causes disproportionate congestion and between 11 and 15% of drivers are routinely stuck in morning rush hour queues on key city routes so we want to get to those cars and get them moving as quickly as possible. Motorbike patrols can get to most breakdowns at least a third quicker than vans.
The bikes, Honda ST1300 pan Europeans, have been specially adapted for the AA to use all available space for the patrols' tool-kit, and a beacon light at the back when attending breakdown duties.
The AA now has 50 patrol motorbikes providing cover for members up to seven days a week. They will primarily cover central areas in Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, London, Manchester and Birmingham.
At any time during the morning peak up to 15 per cent of drivers on key inner city routes are stuck in queues according to a five-city 'go-slow league table' compiled by the AA in conjunction with ITIS Holdings in 2009:
Just one minute a day of queuing for cars travelling along three major roads into a city can:
(updated 7 October 2013)