That 'Warm Readybrek feeling' and the Highways agency...

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by savantuk, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    I know, I know, what has this to do with that 'warm readybrek' feeling?? Humor me, read on, and you'll find out.......

    We pay for this excess!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was on the M74, just north of Carlisle yesterday when I saw a new Autotrail which had been pulled over by the Highways agency who were driving a brand new 59 plated Shogun. It reminded me that I had decided to research the Highways agency 'Police'.

    Their role, according to their own site, is:


    • managing incidents that do not involve loss of life, injury or potential criminal activity
    • supporting the police when they are managing incidents, particularly in managing traffic
    • high visibility patrols to reassure the public
    • dealing with accident damaged, broken down and abandoned vehicles
    • providing rolling road closures to hold traffic back to allow removal of debris, installation of temporary traffic management and other purposes
    • providing temporary road closures
    • clearing debris, animals and found property from the network
    • indentification of defects and potential improvements to the network
    • monitoring roadworks
    • planning arrangements for forthcoming special events
    • educating road users
    Strange.... nowhere above does it state intimidating other road users, or stopping motorcaravans, or any other vehicle on the road, causing a rolling roadblock on the motorway by travelling at 60mph, swaggering around motorway services checking tyres and tax discs, etc, ad nauseum.

    Beware however, they are not the Police, yet failing to obey a 'traffic officer's directions' can attract a fine of £1000 or disqualification. Is it any wonder that they are acting like the police??

    When I was a traffic officer in Cumbria, patrolling the M6 as a 'Support Officer', doing exactly the same as the HA, but with added responsibilities, I drove a Ford Transit. It was the 3 litre version, and was fast and comfortable, with more than enough room in the rear for equipment needed for ANY eventuality, which begs the question...

    WHY THEN DO THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY HAVE SUCH EXPENSIVE VEHICLES??

    Yesterday the Home Secretary announced that the Police had to cut millions and millions of pounds from their budget, in part funded by curtailing the purchase of police vehicles.... Madness!!

    According to the Highways Agency site, one of their officers is quoted as saying 'My work gives me that warm readybrek feeling'.

    It gives me an entirely different feeling altogether!!

    The Highways Agency's adoption of quasi police powers is disturbing enough, but the profligate use of such expensive vehicles is unnecessary, and a huge drain on our nations resources. It's about time that the way this agency works and uses our money is reviewed.

     
  2. Euromobil

    Euromobil Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    hampshire
    take a leaf out of the French books, Police and non police Motorway support vehicles are all blue Renault vans with one blue light, does the job very efficiently, mind you the last prang I saw in France who were the only people not wearing hi-viz vests? The Gendarmerie !!
     
  3. JumboBeef

    JumboBeef Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    How do you know they had pulled the MH over, instead of just stopping to help a MH which had already stopped?
     
  4. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    The first clue is that the HA vehicle was IN FRONT of the vehicle. If it had stopped to help the motorcaravan, it would have been some distance behind, with cones out, and the orange beacons flashing, to guard the scene.

    The second clue was that both HA men were out, one at each door of the motor home.

    Many years experience as a police officer told me that this was a 'stop', not an 'assist'.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,462
    Likes Received:
    25,156
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Fair enough but suppose they had spotted something looking unsafe.

    As to the vehicles. Dunno. We seem to have had big 4x4 for many years now I sort of thought they were a good vehicle for dealing with emergencies like towing or pushing a damaged vehicle off the carriageway but I suspect these days that would be far too dangerous without a risk assessment being performed by a safety officer, who would need a fast Volvo to get to the scene quickly, but not too quickly.
     
  6. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    Quite right, as usual Brian, and your insight is spot on. I'm pretty certain that these drivers do not get specific training for high speed driving. I undertook an exhaustive 6 month driving course before I was let loose on the motorway, and even then, there were occasions when I was scared driving at high speed. High speed is fine in a straight line, on empty roads, but fraught with danger on a crowded motorway.
     
  7. JumboBeef

    JumboBeef Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tell me about it, particularly when you have your cloaking device* switched on.

    * blue lights and sirens.
     
  8. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Berwick
    Hi Doug,

    you'll know this place well given your old beat. About 3 years ago I was driving an almost new artic west on the A66 and was on the roundabout to go north on the M6.

    Just as I was turning off the roundabout onto the M6 slip I started accelerating and immediately noticed a change in the engine note. I assessed the situation quickly, thinking that the best bet would be to pull on to the hard shoulder of the slip road where any traffic would be moving slowly. Job done, had a check as best I could, found the motor to be running on 5 cylinders, phoned DAF Aid and lay down in the bunk.

    BANG BANG BANG on the door, Highway Agency, good I thought, 'how long are you intending sitting here then' growls he. 'Until DAF come' says I' 'They'd better be quick' growled he,'or we'll get you towed off and you'll be charged for the tow'.


    'Asshole' said I and shut the door firmly.

    The few times that anything similar has happened to me and was dealt with by the police was much better handled, and far more efficiently. Jumped up readybrek to$$ers!:Angry:
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,462
    Likes Received:
    25,156
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    I think your professional pride comes into this Doug. As a simple civvie I'm not sure what's behind all these new "private" police forces cropping up all over the place.

    Are we ( and you now ) getting a better deal ? Should we have two or three tier policing like the foreigners do ? This could turn into a heated mega thread.

    Possibilities: You pushed the government so hard on pay and conditions that you pushed yourselves out of jobs just like every trades union. There really is a need for lower grade sweepers up. Privatise and it goes into a different budget - not my department's problem. The useless t&&ts running the show have tied the real police down so much in red tape they can't do the job and we can't afford more of that quality.

    I see similarities in the NHS, where a perfectly competent nurse could so more but professional structures prevent them doing so to maintain the status quo. Ditto dentists.

    What do we peasants know.
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,462
    Likes Received:
    25,156
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Ha. I'll bet you laugh at it. Flying a helicopter in NI on active service, now that's Danger.

    When was the last time someone took a AK47 to you on the M6 ?
     
  11. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    Brian,

    There really isn't anything personal in this posting, and in principle, I have nothing against the HA crews at all. They relieve the police of a lot of the mundane and humdrum work that takes up a lot of time, and they therefore free up valuable resources. Who could argue with this??

    What I do object to is the fact that they have been given 'quasi police powers', which I believe are unnecessary given the role for which they are employed, and as a result, the government is getting policing on the cheap, just as they have done with the Police Support Officers.

    I believe that this is only the thin end of the wedge, and in time, with further powers surreptitiously granted, that we will have a two tier police service.

    Without becoming tedious, I also strenuously object to theinordinate amount of money being spent by the government in equipping this organisation with such an expensive fleet. Why is £30k being spent on a luxury 4wd vehicle, when a £10k panel van could do the job equally as well??

    There are far more cause deserving of public money than the Highways agency vehicle fund.
     
  12. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    He he he:Rofl1:

    Northern Ireland was a stroll in the park compared to driving a police car at 120mph on the M6 at rush hour.

    I was always confident in my ability to drive safely, but an idiot pulling out in front of you without looking when you are approaching from behind at 120mph + is a prime factor in the reason that the police spend thousands of pounds a year on upholstery cleaner and dry cleaning bills!!:Smile:
     
  13. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    South Wales,
    I agree with every thing you have said Doug, however much of there changes have come about because the public are dissatisfied with the police. the back lash of this is that government brings in these measures and say they are responding to the public need, also
    it allows them to do a little manipulation of the statistics and figures.

    So in a way some of the blame for these things you are complaining about are caused by the police them selves.

    Doug...
     
  14. Lincolnshire Rover

    Lincolnshire Rover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    South Lincolnshire
    There must be plenty of unused MOD Land Rovers kicking about that would be plenty good enough for these jumped up numpties to swan around in they can be picked up a motor auctions for a song.:Rofl1:.

    A couple of years ago when I had a chap putting me a new fence up there was a VOSA creep on my drive looking around the fencing chaps trailor when i asked him what he was doing on my property he said he was checking the trailor for defects , so I told him politely to go away and do his checks on the public highway not on my private property he said he thought I had an attitude problem and I said yes I had with his sort me being a long distance lorry driver .:BigGrin:
     
  15. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Berwick
    I remember before they had the power to stop, they would hang about the gate at Hull docks waiting for us to clear customs so they could direct us to the weighbridge around the corner. When we got our pass we had to drive to the small gatehouse and hand in our passes. That's when they had us, we were stationary.

    Once when one was lurking I got my pass and walked up to the gatehouse and gave my pass to the guy and tipped him the wink. Back to the motor 10 minutes later, drove to the barrier, wheeltapper sees the motor and stirs himself, barrier lifts just as I approach, drove straight on.

    His face was a picture. Mind you ,I was completely legal or I'd have had to wait until he went for lunch.:BigGrin: I kid you not, they really did, you should have seen the amount of heavy motors that always got there passes at VOSA lunchtimes.:Rofl1:
     
  16. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    Junction 39, just past the 'Little Chef'. Indeed, my old stamping grounds. I used to go there for breakfast.

    Used to be a lot of accidents there before they put in the traffic lights:RollEyes:
     
  17. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Envy is such an ugly trait.......:RollEyes:
     
  18. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Anywhere in Europe, so fa
    There is always another side to every story...

    A good few years ago, I was responsible for a German company setting up in UK, taking on an existing UK staff.
    The sales guys were hoping to get Ford Capris (it was a while ago!) as there company cars. I actually ordered Volvos. They were amaxed and for years I couldn't do a thing wrong in their eyes.:BigGrin:
    The truth was that it worked out cheaper to buy a good quality car because they would need changing every two years. The Volvo resale over the Ford made the better car much, much cheaper.:Eeek:
    No, of course I didn't tell them that...:Wink:

    Seems to me that the Toyota SUV vs the Ford van might well be the same.
    Patrick
     
  19. AdgeRas

    AdgeRas Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Bristol
    One reason is that a 4x4 can easier tow vehicles away than a 10k panel van.

    I watch a lot of the traffic cops programmes, and at some point an old Ford Transit had broken down in the middle lane of the motorway and the police used an BMW X5 to tow it to the hard shoulder.

    Another reason is that they are bigger and thus more visible than a smaller panel van, even though the small panel van might have the same amount of space available for stuff.

    Rasmus
     
  20. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cumbria, Lake district UK
    The big 3ltr Transit Mk 3 I used to drive was fully stickered, could be seen for miles. was 110mph fast, could tow a tank, and was easily the size of any modern 4x4. They were superb vehicles, and rarely off the road for faults.
     
Loading...

Share This Page