My family-of-five was forced to CAMP at the side of UK's busiest motorway for 9 hours after the RAC failed to show up | The Sun
A FAMILY of five were forced to camp on the hard shoulder of Britain's busiest motorway for NINE hours after the RAC didn't bother to show up.
Pregnant Nicola Bolt, her partner and three young kids were savaged by red ants, had no water and were forced to eat leftovers from a picnic after a day at the beach ended in disaster.
The "disgusting" response from the RAC forced the terrified family – two of which have learning difficulties – to hunker down in their beach tent as traffic screamed past all night on the M25.
Nicola, 32, and three months pregnant, told The Sun: "It was the worry, the stress, the not knowing, the anxiety – it was just unimaginable.
"My kids were crying their eyes out at the side of the road."
Chaos erupted after the family's Vauxhall Insignia engine failed between J28 and 29 at around 7pm on Sunday, July 17, as they headed home to Hertfordshire from Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
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After putting a call into the RAC, the family were told no one was available, despite Nicola shelling out an extortionate £300 a year in membership fees.
Then their phones ran out of battery.
The mum and her partner Steven Higgins, 32, a painter and decorator, were instead told to use an SOS phone to call the Highways Agency after their phones ran out of battery.
But the ordeal went from bad to worse as the family sat on the barrier getting eaten alive in 30C heat with no water or food and the kids in pieces.
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"Until you have been stung by a red ant on your boobs, two of them at the same time? That was painful", Nicola quipped.
They were forced to go to the loo in bushes as lorries hurtled along and the kids became more and more terrified.
And the dire circumstances were made no easier as 11-year-old Alfie has autism and 10-year-old Oliver also has autism and severe ADHD.
Looking after Harry, being only five, brings its own challenges.
"They didn't have a clue what was going on", Nicola fumed.
The mum, who works with special needs kids in schools, told The Sun it was lucky her middle son had taken his medication otherwise it would have been "an absolute s***show" for the family.
Heart-breaking video filmed by Nicola shows the family bedding down in their beach tent on the hard shoulder as night falls, totally abandoned by the RAC.
My kids were crying their eyes out at the side of the road
After a miserable nine hours, the family were finally collected by Highways Agency and ferried back to a compound.
But to their horror, Nicola added: "They towed us back, dropped my car off at their yard, sent us outside the gates, and we sat there for another hour waiting for a taxi."
Tear-inducing pictures shared by Nicola show her youngest looking exhausted and scared as he stares at the ground following the day from hell.
It wasn't until 5.30am the following morning that they got home to Markyate after an ordeal which left them without a car – which Highways Agency threatened to destroy.
That's because the RAC failed to cough up the cash to get it out the compound, leaving Nicola and her family utterly perplexed.
This issue has since been resolved.
Following the ordeal the kids were forced to miss school and the family shelled out a fortune paying for taxis as the car is Nicola's only mode of transport to get the kids around.
Nicola and Steven were forced to miss work and the mum then had to get taxis into work.
The RAC then had the brass neck to tell Nicola she could only have a free hire car for two days, despite her own motor being off the road -she had to fight to get the hire extended.
To add insult to injury Nicola's blue disabled badge for her kids and all their family possessions from the day at the beach were left in the car.
"We've got two towels left at home because they're all in the bloody boot", she slammed.
And the family "can't do anything" while their car has been impounded at the garage.
"My partner is fuming, absolutely fuming", the mum added.
Nicola has now demanded compensation for the hell her family were put through – which echoed a similar nightmare saga experienced by Laura Jenkins.
The RAC have since apologised to Nicola.
A spokesperson from the organisation told The Sun: "We’ve apologised to Nicola for what happened. We realise what a difficult situation it must’ve been for her and her family.
"We’ve extended her hire car entitlement from two days to two weeks and are taking her car to a garage for repair.
"We’ll also be agreeing a suitable gesture of goodwill with her."
A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said: "The customer called in to our regional operational centre as a breakdown at 18.47pm.
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"The customer was given a 45min ETA by the RAC to attend. At 21:30 the RAC extended their ETA to the customer.
"After the customer had been waiting over seven hours the RAC contacted the our regional operations centre to request a Statutory Recovery for the customer which we provided."
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