QUEUES of anxious motorists, fleets of lorries at a standstill – sound familiar?

This was the scene in March 1971, but it was nothing to do with petrol panic-buying or potential fuel shortages, the like of which we are seeing today.

The lines forming outside AA and RAC offices in Glasgow comprised desperate drivers seeking insurance cover as thousands were left stranded by the shock announcement Vehicle and General Insurance had crashed.

Our newspaper reported: “An RAC spokesperson said: ‘A lot of people stand to lose a lot of money from this crash.

“Contractors with fleets of lorries and taxi and car hire firms with large numbers of cars could be thousands of pounds down.

“One lorry owner came on the phone almost in tears. He had a fleet of vehicles on the road when the crash was announced and he was worried they might all be without cover.”

Staff at the AA offices on Argyle Street were kept busy with plans to open the offices late to deal with worried drivers.

“At one time the queue stretched 150 yards down Oswald Street,” said our report. “’This was certainly our biggest queue ever,’ said Mr Keith Batlet, AA Manager for the west of Scotland.”

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