North Tyneside family stranded on side of road for 26 hours

The Embleton's holiday was ruined when their van broke down on the way to the Peak District. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

A family's holiday got off to a "horrendous" start after spending 26 hours on the side of the road when their vehicle broke down.

Wendy and Lee Embleton, from Backworth, North Tyneside, were travelling to the Peak District with their son Lucas, 13, their two French bulldogs Star and Loki and their pocket bully Denzel on the evening of Friday 11 August.

However, the trip quickly turned into a nightmare when their blue Transit Custom van, which was towing their caravan, broke down on the motorway near Bramley in West Yorkshire at 6:30pm.

They contacted RAC for help but were not towed away until 9:15pm the following evening despite someone coming to assess the vehicle at 2:30am.

Mr and Mrs Embleton claim that every time they rang up to ask where the recovery vehicle was they were told it would be another 40 minutes. They said they ended up contacting the company between 15 and 20 times.

Wendy and Lee Embleton, their son Lucas, two French bulldogs Star and Loki and pocket bully Denzel were stuck in the van for 26 hours. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

Mr Embleton said: "I'm a grown man and it brought me to tears. I let my wife and my son get some sleep but I was up all night just waiting and looking out the window as soon as I heard a car.

"I was looking and hoping it was coming. I felt like I was on a desert island. It was just horrendous.

"We were physically and mentally drained. The caravan's not suitable for off-grid, it does require a hook-up, which is why we felt a bit stranded. I'm not happy about staying with RAC at all given what's happened.

"We have worked hard to save up and to get away, it's really heartbreaking. Especially for my son."

Mrs Embleton added: "We were on the side of the road with a caravan, it wasridiculous. I don't know how they can treat people like that."

The family were around 40 minutes away from the campsite when they broke down. RAC used a third party, Richford, who first came out to assess the van at 2:30am. The Embletons were told the turbo was broken and it would need to be towed.

They were then awake throughout the night and the next day waiting for someone to come.

The couple said a member of staff from Richford finally came out at 9:15pm on Saturday and had been told to take them to a service station 20 minutes away but towed them all the way home due to how long they had been waiting.

Mr Embleton said: "He went above his manager and made a couple of phone calls to head office to get them to let him take us the whole way home because it didn't sit right with him. He really wanted to take us. Hats off to him."

Mrs Embleton added: "If it wasn't for him we would still be there!"

The Embletons were eventually rescued and towed all the way home due to how long they had waited. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

The family has since complained to the RAC.

A spokesperson from RAC said: "We’ve apologised to the family for the time it took us to get them home.

"We have an excellent record of providing a very high standard of service to our members, but on this occasion we sadly fell well short of that.

"To say sorry for the stress and inconvenience, we've agreed a suitable gesture of goodwill with Lee which he's happy with."

Richford Motor Services, which is based in Derbyshire, chose not to provide a comment but said delays are common within the breakdown industry at this time of year.

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