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FTA requests rights for freight operators to choose own recovery providers.

Freight Transport Association : 26 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
Removal and storage of freight vehicles suffering from break downs or accident damage currently undertaken by police appointed recovery firms, a situation to which the FTA is calling for amendments to enable more choice.
The Freight Transport Association has responded to the consultation on draft regulations regarding the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles and has welcomed the facility for vehicle operators to make their own arrangements to effect a vehicle recovery rather than be obliged to accept solutions imposed on them by police forces. In the past FTA has identified instances of operators being obliged to accept the services of a police appointed recovery agent even when their own agent could attend and recover the vehicle more quickly, efficiently and economically. The new regulations will ensure that this does not happen in future.

FTA's Head of Road Network Management Policy, Malcolm Bingham said, 'Of course we recognise the absolute necessity for damaged or broken down vehicles on roads managed by the Highways Agency to be removed or repaired as quickly as possible, and with the minimum of inconvenience to other road users. But, in the interests of both efficiency and economy, vehicle operators must first be allowed the opportunity to make their own recovery arrangements. If that cannot be achieved within a reasonable timescale, recognising the nature and extent of the accident or the breakdown, then of course the police or the Highways Agency should deal with the problem.

'FTA would welcome a more standardised national system to be put in place by the Highways Agency taking responsibility for vehicle removal on their network, and providing a model for best practice to be used by police forces on roads not part of the motorway and trunk road network. I hope that the Highways Agency and the transport industry can liaise and create a system for vehicle removal that would allow vehicle operators to better understand the role of HA Traffic Officers and what influences their decisions at incidents involving breakdowns. No doubt such issues as the nature of the problem itself, the time of night or day, the traffic levels and the onboard load, would all influence such decisions.'

FTA's response to the consultation also considered payments for statutory removal, charges for storage and powers relating to disposal.
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