The RAC is cutting patrols in remote areas of the UK, potentially leaving countryside dwellers waiting longer for roadside assistance.

However, AOL Autoblog contacted the national breakdown service which denied it was axing patrols, but admitted around 20 patrols were moving away from remote areas in north England, Scotland and Wales where the organisation has "low demand to areas of greater demand".

While it has been reported that 20 jobs would go as a result of the move, the RAC said it hopes to "relocate patrols where possible but will discuss early retirement and voluntary redundancy for some individuals."

The spokesman added that it is currently recruiting for 30 new positions as it increases the number of patrols overall.

The decision to ditch some rural patrols will not affect coverage, according to the RAC: "Our patrols will continue to attend the majority of breakdowns." Commenting on the use of third-party garages to assist these gaps in coverage, it said: "Our reliance on contractors will be unchanged – we only use them to supplement patrols at times of high demand.

"There will be no change to the service we provide," he continued. "It will actually improve our service levels and we are committed to meeting all the motoring needs of our members."

Meanwhile The Sun reported that the move is a push to slash costs by private equity owner Carlyle which bought RAC for £1 billion last year.