The AA is trialing a way to make more efficient use of the staff that provide its roadside assistance services. They'll also be trained in home repair services to deal with customers who have the relevant insurance policy with an home emergency repair service.
The scheme, which has already been tested in Northern Ireland, involves breakdown staff training in skills such as plumbing. The theory is that as well as reducing the time staff spend not doing any work, the company will be more likely to have somebody nearby when it gets a callout, whether that be on the road or at home.
It's also reported that roadside patrol vans may also carry portable fan heaters during the winter. The idea appears to be that AA staff can quickly get a customer's home temporarily warm again while they are waiting for a trained engineer to come and carry out heating system repairs under the insurance scheme.
Critics of the scheme have said it takes more than a crash course to become a fully-trained plumber, while unions have labeled it a cost-cutting measure.