EU law hits breakdown journeys

* Rescue services must obey laws * Some vehicles can only tow for 62 miles * Broken cars being sent home in several trips...

Motorists who have broken down a long way from home are being left stranded, thanks to legislation from the European Union.

Health and safety rules restrict commercial vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes from travelling more than 62 miles from their base without a tachograph.

However, many rescue vehicles used by roadside rescue organisations such as the AA and RAC are not fitted with the equipment.

As a result, they are forced to drop rescued drivers at service stations when only part of the way home and tell them to wait for another vehicle to take them on the next leg of their journey.

Breakdown companies thought they were exempt from the rules, but, following a complaint from the GMB trade union, the Department for Transport has ordered them to comply.