AA Patrol Man

Published: 14 October 2001

Name: Lee Battams. Age: 35. Salary: £22,000. Hours: 48 per week plus overtime. Special requirements: A recognised car mechanic’s qualification (although the AA now does its own training) and several years experience in AA vans. Work Bike: Honda Pan European ST1100 (police spec). Bike extras: Miniature compressor, fuel can, collapsible water container, extensive tool kit.

If you break down in London expect a lengthy wait for assistance, unless, of course, Lee Battams answers your call. Known by his colleagues as the lone ranger, Lee is the only remaining AA motorcycle patrol man in central London.

" Members are always impressed by how quick I get to them, but even though we provide a good service we can’t carry loads of parts, we can’t tow and therefore we’re not as numerous as vans. "

After 15 years working in AA vans Lee decided to take the plunge and apply for a transfer to the bike patrols. After getting the job he completed a weeks advance training and hasn’t looked back

" I love bikes, so getting paid to ride a bike is great. I like getting out there and meeting people. Everday’s different, you never know what’s going to happen next. A while back I was fixing this old girls flat tyre and she came up behind me and grabbed my nuts, I don’t think she was the full ticket. "

There’s only so much you can carry on a bike so a lot of jobs involve a fair bit of improvisation, Lee enjoys this side of the job.

" It makes you feel good when you find a fault really quick and a manage to fix it there and then. You get blokes jumping up and down saying, ‘you’re brilliant, you’re the nuts’ and I’m thinking I know I’m the nuts. " But being an AA motorcycle patrol man hasn’t turned Lee off bikes. " Not to the extent I get home and think I don’t want to go out on my bike. I own a Kawasaki ZX7R and CR125 motocross and I’m always riding. I still love bikes. "

For more info contact: 01256-491-097