Former traffic cop goes back on road

FORMER Bedfordshire police officer Chris Sapsford knows the county’s roads like the back of his hand.

Friday, 24th June 2011, 1:57 pm

So there can’t be anyone better qualified to start a ‘Club Class’ private hire service than 55-year-old Chris – so that’s what he’s done!

Born and raised in the county, the married father of four joined the local police in 1977.

He started off driving Panda cars around Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard, before joining the specialist Road Traffic Division in 1981, where he spent the next 14 years as a motor patrolman.

He’s been behind the wheel of Range Rovers, Ford Granadas, Vauxhall Senators, and the iconic Ford Sierra Cosworth. He also rode BMW 1000cc motorcycles and described being a ‘traffic man’ as one of the best jobs in the force.

Chris was involved in high speed pursuits, dealing with serious road accidents, and instructing other officers about the use of specialised technical equipment.

He was also involved in escorting VIPs visiting the county.

He said: “While escorting a VIP in the ‘90s, I gave an acknowledgement wave to another officer and got one back from the Prime Minister at the time, Mr John Major!”

Chris served at Luton as both Sergeant and Inspector, before looking after day-to-day policing in Ampthill, Biggleswade and Bedford.

Finally, he spent the last few years of his service as a senior officer at Headquarters, based in the force information room at Kempston.

Chris said “Having finally left the police after nearly 33 years, I wanted to try and go my own way being self employed. My father had his own haulage business in the 1960s, and perhaps this gave me some added impetus to do likewise.

“I still enjoy driving and using the skills gained in my time with the police. Also with two sons, Dale and Luke, I hope to create an opportunity for them to become involved, once the business is established”.

His business name is called Shuttlecraft and he uses a 2011 long wheelbase Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle, which has been converted by factory approved coachbuilders to give limousine quality specifications.

And Chris, who lives in Ampthill, added: “We do not cater for regular local ‘nights-out’ or trips to the shops. That market is already well catered for.

“Ours is a reserved service for those special journeys.”

> Contact Shuttlecraft by phoning 07708 962587, or email [email protected] or visit www.shuttlecraftmpv.co.uk