Top AA Patrols in UK Both in South-West

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An exhaustive four-month search for the top two AA patrols in the country has ended with the winners living only 18 miles apart in the South-west. The prestigious accolades, announced at the recent AA Employee Awards in London, were given to Patrol of the Year Paul Leather from Weston-super-Mare and Recovery Patrol of the Year Alan Price from Bristol.

I am extremely pleased and humbled to be awarded Patrol of the Year and really look forward to the year ahead as an ambassador for the company.

The awards have been running since 1987 and the winners represent the crème de la crème of the AA’s around 3,000 patrols. They will now spend the next 12 months as the ‘public face’ of the company, representing the UK’s biggest motoring organisation within the motor industry and before the media.

The double-success for the South-west began in January with managers holding regional heats across the country to leave five finalists. In February, they were put through an intensive day of technical and driving tests, panel interview and mock live TV interviews near the AA’s training centre in Leicestershire.

Paul, and his fellow roadside patrols, drive normal patrol vans while Alan, and the other recovery patrols, drive flat-bed recovery trucks and rescue vehicles that can’t be fixed at the roadside.

Patrol of the Year Paul Leather
Motorsport fan Paul is 34-years-old and married with a daughter. Both his father and grandfather were mechanics and he followed in the family footsteps by studying motor vehicle engineering at college in Taunton, then worked at a small garage in Burnham-on-Sea before becoming one of the AA’s youngest patrols when he joined aged 18.

Something of a petrolhead, when he’s not working on or driving his AC Cobra replica car, he loves following motorsport, especially rallying and classic car racing.

Paul says: “I am extremely pleased and humbled to be awarded Patrol of the Year and really look forward to the year ahead as an ambassador for the company. Being a patrol, you get a good sense of achievement by meeting and helping different people in all manner of situations but this tops it off.”

Recovery Patrol of the Year Alan Price
Motorcycle enthusiast Alan is 51-years-old and married with two children. He’s had a varied career with the AA starting out as an AA roadside patrol in 1977. He worked his way up the ranks before working for the AA’s European operation in France. After working for a contractor for three years, he was keen to return to the road and rejoined the AA as a recovery patrol.

He’s made some memorable rescues in his time at the AA: getting the singer Duffy to a venue after a breakdown nearly threatened her first gig after getting to number one; rescuing a lottery winner; recovering Del Boy’s Reliant van; and, most importantly, meeting his future wife at the roadside in 1980 – she broke down on the way to work.

He’s interested in most team sports, particularly rugby and cricket, enjoys military history and still speaks fluent French from his time working over there. A keen motorcyclist, his dream bike would be a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra.

Alan says: “I was stunned but very proud to carry the flag for the AA recovery patrols. I’ve worked in various parts of the AA but always loved working as a patrol – you get to help different people every day and see many parts of our wonderful country.”

Recognising excellence
Steve Dewey, AA Road Operations Director, says: “Being from the South-west too, it’s fantastic to see our top two patrols coming from the region. All our patrols pride themselves on delivering excellent service, so it’s really something to beat around 3,000 others.

“Paul and Alan are both long-serving and experienced patrols whose professionalism, performance and customer care at the roadside make them worthy winners.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:
Paul and Alan are both available for interview and high-resolution photographs of them can be provided. Days out on the road with them can also be arranged, please call 01256 492886.

Visit The AA online for information on breakdown cover available.

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