News: Woman left stranded 158 miles from home at night at traveller fair after RAC ‘refuse to attend over safety fears’

News: Woman left stranded 158 miles from home at night at traveller fair after RAC ‘refuse to attend over safety fears’

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

A woman from Skegness says the RAC refused to come to her aid at a travellers’ fair over fears of repairman’s lives.

Janet Simpson had been attending the famous Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, where she had been working selling dolls prams, when her car broke down.

The 60-year-old claims she was left stranded for six hours without any help when her car wouldn’t start on Sunday June 9 at around 7.30pm.

She called the RAC and says they told her they would have someone out within 60 minutes.

Janet waited an hour before calling them again to check their progress and was left shocked by what she claims was their response.

Janet Simpson eating her fish and chips.
Janet Simpson eating her fish and chips.
(Image: Lincolnshire Live)

 

She told Lincolnshire Live: “The RAC told me that they wouldn’t be sending anyone out to help me because they didn’t go to gypsy fairs.

“They told me they wouldn’t put their drivers’ lives in jeopardy as they said they had attended the fair before and some of their drivers had their windows smashed.

“They called an external company to come and pick me up because they didn’t do these kind of contracts.

“Between 11pm and 2am I called them back a number of times and heard nothing.

“I was left alone in a field by myself and was starting to get frightened.

“I pay £15 a month for their service and it was horrific.

Janet Simpson's prams at the fair.
Janet Simpson’s prams at the fair.
(Image: Lincolnshire Live)

 

“They offered to put me up in a hotel overnight but I was reluctant to leave my caravan their as I had my stock in it.

“My phone was running low on charge and reluctantly accepted their offer to put me up in a hotel but I didn’t get their until 3am.

“There was no taxi company who would come and pick me up from Appleby so a man came from Penrith dropped me off at the hotel.”

Janet claims that she contacted Cumbria Police for ‘assistance’ until the taxi arrived but they refused to help, saying ‘it’s not something we do.’

Janet Simpson selling her goods at a fair.
Janet Simpson selling her goods at a fair.
(Image: Lincolnshire Live)

She returned to her caravan the next morning.

Janet said: “I rang the RAC at 7am and they said they would have a van at my car by 8am, they said they would arrange a taxi to take me back to my car.

“Again, there were issues with the transport and I didn’t get back to my car until 9am.

 

“My car couldn’t be fixed and from 10.30am until 9pm I tried to speak with the RAC to arrange getting home.

“They said that they would be there at 2.30pm to get me home – again nothing came of it.

“Eventually the RAC arranged pick up of my caravan and the truck.”

Janet Simpson, 60 was left stranded 158 miles from home.
Janet Simpson, 60 was left stranded 158 miles from home.
(Image: Lincolnshire Live)

Janet said she was left stranded in the middle of the field alone until she contacted a friend on a traveller group on Facebook.

The friend travelled from Hartlepool to Allenby to stay with her until someone came.

She suffers from arthritis and said she has been left unable to walk after being made to wait hours in the cold.

Janet said: “There’s nothing in my contract that says they don’t attend traveller fairs.

“I’ve been left distraught and it’s really knocked my confidence.

 

“It’s absolutely disgusting that I was made to wait for so long just because it was a traveller fair.

“I didn’t get back home to Skegness until 2am on Tuesday morning after a 158-mile taxi journey home.

“They’ve since offered me £100 compensation and say that they did everything that they could to help and tried to justify their actions by saying they’ve since paid for the hotel and taxi home but that’s what I pay my subscription for.”

According to the Daily Mirror an RAC spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to Miss Simpson for the delay in recovering her vehicle and caravan.

“As a result, we paid for her to stay in a hotel for the night and for a 158-mile taxi journey to get her home the next day.”

Cumbria Police have been contacted for comment.



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