It is now almost a year since I had the privilege of being invited and meeting the ERRI Group. One year on and they are still harping on about introducing an R licence which, without doubt, nobody wants. I was assured by Brian Hagan at the time that they were not about to introduce new regulations, so why are they still pursuing this issue like a bulldog with a wasp in its mouth. I suspect it was always about trying to do something that made a difference whether for better or worse: making a difference is the lifeblood of any voluntary committee.
Like everyone else, I don’t know what this R licence is all about. Would they be kind enough to explain, in items 1 – 10 or whatever, what would be the advantage of having an R licence and, if they are bold enough, the disadvantages.
More so now than ever before we are all dreadfully short of work, which means no spare money. I would also hope that the work-providing clubs realise that if there is any more restriction put on our ability to provide around-the-clock emergency service we will just fail to provide. It will become legislatively impossible to work after hours in the ad hoc manner that many of us have to do. I was told the other day that one (not big) recovery club has lost over 250 agents in the last 8 years and now cannot fill the void areas. How many more will have to give up?
I ask myself: am I the odd ball? But then I realise I have not found one single operator anywhere or even one person outside of that committee that wants this damned R licence. Our only hope is that ERRI will manage to make some headway with the LEZ, which surely is what they were assembled for.
The problem with these things is that they are not about common-sense they are about politics and headstrong people. As has been written, how can it be sensible to have London full of unregulated taxis (emission-wise), at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night (8 out of 10 vehicles seem to be taxis) when the streets are most crowded with people: whereas a breakdown truck is not allowed to drive into a low-populated area every now and again.
If ERRI are going to prove their worth, they will have to solve this issue completely, not fudge it or promise it, but actually solve it, otherwise they will definitely serve no purpose, and I do wish them good luck because obviously they will need it.
I think the MID will resolve itself if for no other reason than if there is no good profitable work left in a Police Contract they will immediately collapse, leaving the Police with no method of getting all the rubbish recovered unless they, in turn, are prepared to foot a fairly enormous bill. I will be surprised if the ACPO people who deal with this have not already noticed the danger to their system. I recently defended Police Contracts in Professional Recovery at the same time pointing out that they are not a licence to make money by any means, so the loss of too many of the paying jobs would undoubtedly cause a collapse. However, I did say that time spent waiting for insurance companies to organise recovery may not go down well with the Police at the scene.
So, we shall have to wait and see.
Fred Henderson, Breakdown Doctor.
13th August, 2011