All Press Releases for March 06, 2009

Britain's Brightest Breakdown, Tell Us Your Story and Win GBP1000

The recent cold weather has led to a 50%* increase in the number of car breakdowns with many of those being lone drivers ill prepared to sit and wait for the rescue services.

    GUILDFORD, ENGLAND, March 06, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If you break down in an isolated spot, the experience can be even more frightening but there are some fantastic tales of people prepared to go the extra mile to help a motorist in need.

To celebrate those who go out of their way to assist a stranded motorist, Cornhill Direct is launching a competition - 'Britain's Brightest Breakdown' - with a cash prize of GBP1000 up for grabs. The Cornhill 'Remote Roads Navigator' is a google map on which the 10 most isolated spots in the British Isles are marked - to enter the competition, simply visit the map {}, mark on the location of your breakdown and give us a short summary of why you broke down, what happened and who came to your rescue. If you were helped by a friendly pub landlord, B&B owner or hotel manager then give us their details too, so that we can tell everyone what a great place it is.

Commenting on the competition, Mark Bishop, communications director at Cornhill Direct said, "Breaking down is every motorist's nightmare, particularly if you are far from anywhere and on your own. Over the years we have heard some heart warming stories about how people have been helped by the kindness of total strangers and we felt that it was time to celebrate that. It's also fascinating to realise how, for such a small island, there are so many spots a long way from any sign of life. These are often places we'd love to visit as a holiday destination but being stranded there is a completely different matter."

Sarah Fallon is a mum of three from Welshpool in mid-Wales, eighteen months ago, on a trip to visit relatives, she broke down near Penmachno, a remote village in Conwy. The experience was not something she wants to repeat, "It was 9 o'clock at night in the middle of winter and I had all three children with me. It's very difficult to know what to do in that sort of situation, the youngest one was only two at the time and I was at least four miles from any house, shops or pubs. It didn't help that there was no signal on my mobile phone. After sitting in the car for 20 minutes I was about to start walking with all the children, when a couple pulled up and helped us out. The woman stayed with us in the car while her husband drove to the nearest village to get help. Within another 20 minutes a tow truck arrived and we were on our way. I remain hugely grateful to that couple, they went out of their way to help us, in what was a horrendous situation."

The competition is open now and runs until 31st March. One lucky winner will be selected at random from all the entries. For full details, plus information and advice about what to do if you do break down in an isolated area, please visit You can also browse the map to learn more about the 10 most remote spots in the UK.

Cornhill Direct provide car, home, breakdown and recovery insurance, visit now to find out more about our insurance products.

*breakdown figures provided by Allianz insurance

7 FACTS & FIGURES about the most isolated spots in the UK

1. Papa Stour in the Shetland Islands has a population of under 20, although this is an increase from the 1970s, when the island put out an appeal for new residents.

2. According to Ordnance Survey, the Britain's most remote inhabited island is Fair Isle (in Shetland Islands).

3. There is strong evidence that Berneray in the Outer Hebrides has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and possibly before. The island is scattered with ancient sacred sites, stone circles and signs of Viking inhabitation.

4. Camanreagh, 10 km east of Ballyneaner, is so remote that even the internet hasn't heard of it.

5. Bardsey Island, 10 km from the Welsh Mainland has no permanent electricity supply, with most houses relying on candles and small gas lamps.

6. The B4407 that winds south out of Cwm Penmacho in Wales, doesn't pass another village or habitation for nearly 10 miles.

7. Bryher, part of the Scilly Isles, is the smallest of the five inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly with a population of 90.

Notes to editors on the most isolated road spots:

Exmoor national park - a small cul-de-sac not far southwest of Porlock Hill leads motorists away from it all. From here it's 2km to the nearest farm, and 8km to a town.

Cumbria, a similarly remote road west of Mosedale leads the intrepid driver to a spot 2.5km from the nearest house, 4.5km from a small hamlet and nearly 25km from Penrith and the nearest railway station.

Jan Sjorup of Cumbria Police: "It's so remote that there hasn't been an accident recorded since 1994."

Bryher in the Isles of Scilly. There is only one road. Bryher is the smallest of the five inhabited islands of Scilly, some 6km from the nearest of the bigger islands and around 50km from Land's End on the Cornish mainland.

Northern Ireland
Camanreagh - 6km southeast of Ballyneaner is a place so remote that even the internet hasn't heard of it: Camanreagh. Ballyneaner itself is around 6km from the nearest village of note - Claudy, with its population of only around 1,300.

Driving south out of Cwm Penmachno, Betws-y-coed, on the B4406 there is no habitable building for 10km.

Bardsey Island is about 3km from the mainland of North Wales. It runs 700 metres from the ferry landing point to some of the island's few houses. There are no streetlights: the island has no mains electricity.

Britain's most remote place, put by Ordinance Survey at grid reference 202020,877000 - a spot near 918-metre-tall Ruadh Stac Mor, but at least 15km (9 miles) from the nearest road.
Fair Isle, Foula and Papa Stour islands in the Shetland haven't got a filling station between them, and cars on the islands don't need an MOT.

Fair Isle is according to the Ordinance Survey to be Britain's most remote inhabited island. Forty kilometres (25 miles) from Mainland island (Shetlands), getting to Fair Isle is a challenge: the regular passenger ferry Good Shepherd IV has space for a single car, and it sails once a week in winter - weather permitting. Just over 7km of unclassified roads navigate the island's rocky moorland, which supports crofters and the island's famous knitting industry. It's a well-established observatory for migrating birds, and is home to its own species of Wren.

Foula has no shop or pub, 30 inhabitants and the food they can't grow or farm delivered by air. There are 5km of roads and 12 vehicles on the island. Tourists arriving with cars must have them lifted off the ferry by a pier .

Brian Woods of the Shetland Islands Council: "Cars are often seen in peculiar states on Foula. No headlights; just holes where they should be. No wipers."

Papa Stour - although the ferry servicing the island does carry cars, there's only one significant road. It's less than two miles long.

About Cornhill Direct Insurance: Cornhill Direct is part of Allianz Insurance plc, one of the largest general insurers in the UK. Cornhill Direct is a well established and experienced UK insurance brand providing quality home, car and breakdown insurance products.

For Cornhill Direct media enquiries please contact Mark Bishop, Group Communications Manager, tel: 01483 552731 or email: [email protected]

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