An NHS nurse was left on the side of a busy road in freezing temperatures for nine hours after being told his breakdown recovery service was too busy to help him.

On Friday, December 16, James Miles, 49, was returning home to Felixstowe from his job as a crisis care nurse at West Suffolk Hospital.

East Anglian Daily Times: James Miles, 49, is a crisis care nurse at West Suffolk Hospital.James Miles, 49, is a crisis care nurse at West Suffolk Hospital. (Image: James Miles)

Mr Miles' car broke down at 8.15pm on the A14 just outside Bury St Edmunds and he managed to safely move it to the closest layby.

He turned the car off for safety, called the RAC and was "relieved" to be informed that the breakdown recovery service would take around 45 minutes to reach him.

With 48% phone battery, he was confident that he would be rescued soon and called his father and girlfriend to tell them as much.

However, soon after this, he received a text to say that the wait may be longer due to unprecedented demand in the cold temperatures.

Updating his family as he went, the wait-time went from 45 minutes to an hour, then to an unknown period of time until finally, at 3am, they said they wouldn't be able to reach him at all.

His case was referred to the Highways Agency instead, but Mr Miles said he was told they did not cover the area that he had broken down in.

After seven hours of waiting in sub-zero temperatures, the RAC said they would be sending a taxi to pick Mr Miles up.

The taxi company confirmed a 3am pick-up with him, but never arrived and while he was waiting, his phone battery ran out of charge.

Mr Miles said it was "incredibly cold" and ended up being "one of the worst experiences of my life".

Eventually, he resorted to waving down a lorry and using the driver's mobile phone to ask his father to pick him up at around 5am.

Despite calling multiple times throughout Saturday and Sunday morning, Mr Miles was given no update on the case until his car turned up on the back of a truck on Sunday afternoon.

"It was a tough night," he said.

"They didn't do anything to help for 39 hours and gave no communication whatsoever."

A RAC representative said: "Due to the extremely cold weather we, along with all breakdown services, were experiencing record, unprecedented demand which meant it took far longer than normal to get to some members who needed our help.

"We've spoken to Mr Miles to explain and offered him a gesture of goodwill which we're pleased to say he's accepted."