A WOMAN has hit out after her car was towed away on police instructions, minutes before the AA could reach her.

Jane Priestley, 45, was travelling to Oswaldtwistle where she works for Communicare, when the windscreen wiper on her Vauxhall Cavalier stopped working.

Because it was raining she pulled over on to the hard shoulder of the M55 between Blackpool and Kirkham turn-off and was told the AA would be with her in half an hour.

But police then arrived and told her a breakdown truck had been arranged to remove her vehicle from the motorway because half an hour was the maximum time a car could be left there.

The truck arrived and she was then charged £126 to release the car.

Miss Priestley said: "If I was not a member of a breakdown service then it would have been my own fault that I had to pay to be towed away.

"But I have been an AA member for three years and it has cost me more than my membership fee to be towed away.

"Ideally I would like them to give me my money back and ensure that neither myself nor other drivers are put in that situation again

"I drive a lot of miles on the motorway every day so took out the membership to ensure that I wouldn't have to fork out in one go if I did break down.

"But then this happened and they wanted the money before they would even release the car.

"Because I don't carry that sort of money, and didn't have my credit card with me, my boss had to pay it over the phone.

"I had always felt secure driving on the motorway before but I don't any more because now I know that this could happen again and cost even more money.

"If there is a time limit for how long you can be broken down on the motorway then they should be able to get to you within that period.

"This brings up the question what is the point of being in the AA? And they should at least inform people that this may happen."

A spokesman for the AA said police told them they were not happy with the estimated time of arrival.

He said: " I cannot see why they cancelled us for a matter of five minutes which cost Miss Priestley more than £100.

"We will be looking into this matter as it has not arisen previously and would advise Miss Priestley to take it up with them, too."