Apr 21 2011 By Dan Coombs
Thorney Mill Lane in West Drayton, where two ambulances got stuck.
A RESIDENT has called for width restrictions to be removed after two ambulances became stuck in them last weekend.
The paramedics found themselves in trouble in Thorney Mill Lane, West Drayton, last Saturday night, when heading towards Iver, Bucks.
The road contains a seven foot width restriction, and a gate which works as a barrier, which can be opened only by emergency vehicles.
However Hillingdon Council said that the ambulance drivers should have used their key to unlock the gates. They even sent engineers down the following day to confirm they were working correctly and found no problems.
Last year traffic lights were put in on the road which local resident Matt Tombs says has solved a lot of problems with motorists arguing over who was right of way. However he feels that as they have solved many of the issues, the width restriction could now be taken out altogether.
Mr Tombs, of Thorney Mill Road, said: "My question is, if we have traffic lights to control the traffic flow over the bridge, why the hell do we have a closed barrier as well? There have been no problems with the traffic since the lights were put in. This gate must be kept open at all times. We have traffic lights now.
"By closing them the council is hindering the vital seconds and minutes a patient may need – this really could be the difference between life and death – stop this now and keep the gate open. Better still, get rid of the thing and let common sense prevail.
"Regardless of whether these ambulances were going to an accident or heading to the hospital or not, the fact remains emergency vehicles should not have any obstacles – had the barrier been open they would not have been delayed."
Hillingdon Council however responded by saying the width restrictions and the traffic lights were installed for two completely separate reasons.
The traffic lights were brought in to effectively end disputes about who has right of way, while the width restrictions prevent lorries and heavy good vehicles from driving over the bridge, using the route as a rat-run.