Low Traffic schemes can ‘delay life-saving treatments’ and ‘impede’ response times

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Road closures have the potential to “impede” response times for “critically ill people” in a new major revelation. LAS says that the new schemes may “delay” transporting passengers to the emergency department in a major safety risk for residents.

LAS hinted that they were working with local authorities to ensure emergency vehicles were considered for future schemes.

In a statement, a spokesperson for LAS said: “As the busiest ambulance service in the country, our focus is on achieving the best outcomes for ill and injured patients and ensuring we reach them in response times set by the government.

“Changes to road layouts, traffic management schemes and road closures all have the potential to impede our response to the most critically ill people and could delay life-saving treatments or conveyance to the nearest emergency department.

“This is why we continue to work with Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities, including Enfield, to ensure emergency vehicle access is properly considered, and the impact of any changes monitored.

“We will continue to discuss these issues at the emergency services group.

“Made up of local authority traffic teams and TfL, as well as make representations at a local level where necessary.”

Their comments came after a new video was released on social media showing an ambulance crew struggling to get past road bollards.

The ambulance was seen grounding to a halt while a paramedic got out in a desperate attempt to remove the bollard.

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After pulling at it twice, the paramedic shrugged his shoulders and got back in the van to turn around.

This all took place despite the ambulance driving with flashing lights and clearly on an emergency service call.

The new LTNs were installed across London in May as part of post-lockdown measures to encourage social distancing.

The proposals were introduced to stop drivers speeding up residential areas, minimise traffic levels and help the pollution.

The schemes have been installed on a temporary basis but many residents fear the scheme will be made permanent.

Many locals have attacked the plans with many protesting against the schemes.

Some local councils have been forced to backtrack on plans due to the opposition while others are standing firm despite the issues.

Sam Monck, TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Investment Delivery Planning claims that decreased road congestion should help improve response time among the emergency services

He said that the changes brought about in the scheme would also lead to a difference in “public health” and “air quality” for residents.

In a statement to Express.co.uk, he said: “We work closely with the boroughs and the emergency services to provide advanced information of where Streetspace schemes are planned and any changes to road layouts.

[We] take their feedback on board in the design and monitoring of schemes to enable walking, cycling and social distancing.

“An Emergency Services Working Group has been set up to manage this work.

“By committing to a programme that encourages more walking and cycling, we’re not only avoiding a growth in congestion and therefore response times, but also making a real difference to public health and air quality.”

TfL added that Boroughs across London had responded positively to feedback from emergency services.

This included the introduction of some camera enforced closures rather than physical closers to maintain access for vehicles.

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