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Independents in access alliance

Plant

A GROUP of independent powered access companies have formed an alliance to compete head on with national hirers.

The Access Link alliance comprises 9 companies - geographically spread across the UK and Ireland - which have agreed to hire platforms and booms on behalf of each other.

'Customers who operate nationally can hire from their local company, via a single point of contact and receive a single invoice,' said Mike Boyle, managing director of Taunton-based AMP Access, a founder member of the scheme. 'We will then call the hirer in the area and arrange delivery to the site.'

Mr Boyle said the aim was to offer a higher quality of service than the national players to combat their attempts to buy up the market: 'The backup outweighs anything a national can offer. As independents , we are all in charge of our own businesses, so the customer is not relying on a particular depot manager, and we all have our own fitters for servicing.'

The companies have agreed standardised rehire rates among themselves so they can offer a national rate to the customer. They are currently meeting on a three-monthly basis and are working on their own charter offering set levels of service and turnaround times.

Mr Boyle said the scheme had taken off: 'Without any shadow of a doubt we have seen the benefits of the scheme already.'