Boy’s ambulance delayed because crew had no key for road bollard
By AmyLocksHeath | Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 09:25
A mother has told of her anger after an ambulance rushing to help her two-year-old son was held up by controversial bus lane bollards.
Kerry Rudge, 34, called the emergency services on Saturday night when her son Harry had a severe allergic reaction to something he had eaten.
Kerry, who is on maternity leave, was horrified to hear that the ambulance had not been able to pass through the gate at Yew Tree Drive in Whiteley and had been forced to divert, causing a critical 10-minute delay.
The ambulance had been directed to the gate by the crew’s sat nav. Because it could not get in, the crew took 18 minutes to get to Harry, instead of eight.
Kerry said: ‘We still had to go around on the way to hospital.
‘The more I think about it, the more angry I get. I’m absolutely furious.’
The bollards, which stop Yew Tree Drive being used as a rat run, have been a controversial issue in Whiteley. A petition of 2,000 signatures was handed to the council last year calling for them to be lowered.
Fareham Borough Council is surveying residents to see if they would agree to a six-month trial with the barrier down.
Kerry is appealing to residents to respond to the survey to get the bollards lowered permanently.
She said: ‘Putting aside my personal reasons, safety should be the number one priority. It is simply unacceptable.
‘If it had been someone having a heart attack, I dread to think what the outcome would have been.
‘There are more important things in life than just a few residents who don’t want cars going past where they live.’
Thankfully, Harry is now recovering at home after one night in hospital.
Kerry said: ‘Luckily it wasn’t too serious but who can say that at the time?
‘Those bollards are a waste of time. Get them open permanently. It’s just madness.’
The ambulance had been sent from Southampton and did not have a key. During the daytime, crews can use a key at the nearby surgery or they can call a number to have the bollards lowered.
A spokesman from the South Coast Ambulance Service said: ‘It is an increasing problem with crews becoming more mobile.
‘One solution would be for all crews to carry all keys, but that simply isn’t feasible in an emergency situation.
‘These type of bollards are a problem and they do cause obstructions.’
Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward said: ‘The ambulance service was offered as many keys as it wanted. While there is any doubt about the bollards, I have asked for them to be lowered. It is being investigated.’
(Reported by The News)