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15 Dec 2011 10:34

ATS Euromaster has secured a deal to fit approximately 400 Michelin cold weather tyres to North East Ambulance Service’s rapid response fleet. The specialist tyres are proven to offer improved vehicle handling and reduced stopping distances in temperatures less than seven degrees Celsius.

All of the North East Ambulance Service’s (NEAS) rapid response vehicles, made up of 50 ‘blue-light’ BMW X3 4x4s and Ford Focuses, will be running cold weather tyres for the first time this winter – following a successful trial of part of the fleet last winter. The vehicles will be distributed across the NEAS’ ambulance stations throughout the North East.

NEAS’ Assistant Operational Support Manager George Price says: “Last year, the weather really was incredibly bad from November until January – we experienced temperatures as low as -16 degrees Celsius and many routes remained in a treacherous condition. This year we wanted to be prepared for every eventuality– and that includes using technology like cold weather tyres.

“There is a high demand for this specialist rubber across Europe so it was vital that we sourced and fitted these tyres as soon as possible and at a fair price – which ATS Euromaster allowed us to do.

“In addition, Michelin are our tyre of choice for reliability and longevity – so we needed a supplier that could provide us a significant quantity of these specific cold weather tyres.” 

In placing the order for cold weather tyres, NEAS has taken advantage of a pan-government tyre sourcing initiative established by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 2007 and available to Public Sector Organisations (PSOs) across the UK.  It allows PSOs to share in significant cost savings when purchasing tyres and associated services from a select group of approved suppliers, which includes ATS Euromaster and Michelin.

NEAS is responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in North East England, covering the counties of Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne & Wear as well as Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

Emergency incidents dealt with by the NEAS rocketed to unprecedented levels in December 2010 – up by more than 1,000 call-outs for the same period the previous year. The busiest spell was the five hours from 10pm Boxing Day, with NEAS receiving 1,317 calls – an increase of 842 when compared to the same time period in 2009, representing a 177% increase in emergency response calls.

Despite pressure on the supply of cold weather tyres, ATS Euromaster has re-affirmed its commitment to ring-fencing supplies to support key fleet customers using the high-grip seasonal fitment this winter. The company has protected a percentage of its stocks, in each of the key sizes, to help ensure it can support fleets if they suffer a puncture or associated tyre damage and need a replacement tyre during the winter period.

Peter Fairlie, Group Sales Director at ATS Euromaster, says: “Ring-fencing a portion of our cold weather tyre stock is part of our on-going commitment to keeping our fleet customers rolling throughout the winter.  It’s particularly critical given the number of blue-light customers we have, where vehicle availability can arguably make the difference between life and death.”

Businesses can get further information about cold weather tyres from: http://www.atseuromaster.co.uk/business-customers-cold-weather-tyres.htm

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