The AA has advertised its breakdown rescue service as the fourth emergency service but now, in common with paramedics and the police, their mechanics may well arrive on a motorcycle rather than in a van.
Countrywide, city centre congestion is so regular that the average speed of traffic flow is well below 20 miles per hour for major centres in England and Scotland, and so just one car breaking down can gridlock traffic for hours. The AA will target breakdowns due to flat batteries, flat tyres and electrical faults which can be mended swiftly.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “We need radical action to beat record slow traffic in our cities and decided that two wheels are quicker than four.
“By fixing breakdowns more quickly, we will improve service to our members, and help reduce congestion and emissions.”
Stewart Topp, AA motorbike patrol, says: “I am passionate about motorbikes and love my job as an AA patrol, so being a motorbike patrol for the AA brings these two areas together.”
“I am still there to help members with breakdown problems – just without my usual van! The response from the public has been fantastic. They all seem excited to see us out and about on the bikes.”
Most of the bikes are environmentally-friendly zero-emission electric scooters and they are expected to cut up to 25 per cent from
peak time breakdown wait times.