The good and the bad

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Sir,
At a time when we are hearing so much about poor service from garages, may I comment on two from whom, on numerous occasions, and without exception, I have had very good attention: Central Garage Limited, London Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire; Rutters Garage Limited, Salop Street, Bridgenorth, Shropshire.

The following remarks apply to both garages. In emergency I have received prompt and efficient attention. Defects which could have been rectified by the “you will need a new… etc.,” routine (at a greater profit to the garage) have been repaired. Genuine faults in components, which I had not asked that they be inspected, have been noticed. Staff at all levels have been most courteous and intelligent. Charges have, in every case, been reasonable. I would add that I have no connection with these firms, other than as a very satisfied customer.

On another topic, if I may trespass on more space in my favourite magazine. As a driver of over 18 years experience, averaging until recently 25,000 miles per year, I would like to comment on road salety and the law.

I feel very strongly, both as a road user and as a tax payer, that the numbers of regulations and road signs (which are in some places too numerous to absorb their information) have become ridiculous. Driving conditions are nearly infinitely variable, as are the capabilities of both the vehicle and driver. I am convinced that drivers should be trained and tested to such a standard that they would be capable of assessing all these parameters and drive safely accordingly. The cost of road signs must be prodigious and even then these signs cannot take all these parameters into consideration and the money spent on these would be better spent on training and such facilities as skidpans. The number of drivers, who drive strictly within the law but nevertheless are obviously incompetent, is frightening.

With regard to enforcement, at two extremes, both in Cheshire, firstly, some years ago I was fined for not obeying a road sign; the police sergeant in this case had not, in fact, seen this alleged event and he did not know the type of car I was driving! The second occurrence was last year when I was stopped by a senior police officer who was, I think, an instructor at the police driving school. I had done a rather silly bit of overtaking and he gave me a good dressing down, and he took no further action. In the first case I was left with a strong sense of resentment; in the second case I was left with a sense of shame and I have “Watched it” ever since.

C.G. Langford.
Shifnal.