An urgent review of the effect of low traffic neighborhood schemes on ambulance service is being conducted by chiefs. There are fears that paramedics might have delayed getting to patients.

According to North West Ambulance Service, there has been an increase in delays due to Stockport Council’s ‘Active Neighbourhood’ scheme.

In an effort to decrease traffic, the trial program was launched in Heaton Chapel, Greater Manchester, in September.

Chiefs of the ambulance service say that paramedics had to navigate around road closures.

Surprisingly, CCTV footage, which was flagged by residents to council chiefs, shows that ambulances using blue lights had to make a U-turn on the road because of the planters. 

According to Council leaders, all emergency services were called before the trial of three months that is scheduled to conclude next month. 

They are however ‘urgently waiting’ for the results of an NWAS review. The trust stated in a statement that it had looked into some incidents and discovered delays as ambulances were forced to travel around road closures.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) say there have been a 'number of delays' due to Stockport Council's 'Active Neighbourhood' scheme (pictured)

North West Ambulance Service’s (NWAS), says there were ‘numbers of delays’ as a result Stockport Council’s “Active Neighbourhood” scheme (pictured).

Ambulance service bosses say paramedics have had to 'navigate around' the road closures. Astonishing CCTV (pictured), flagged to council chiefs by concerned residents, appears to show ambulances on blue lights have to u-turn in the road due to the planters.

According to Ambulance Service bosses, paramedics had to navigate around road closures. The shocking CCTV footage (pictured), sent to council chiefs from concerned residents shows ambulances riding on blue lights having to turn in the road to avoid the planters.

“As a consequence, we now undertake an investigation into all reported incidents and will consult with the council. We are also reiterating to staff the importance of our reporting systems to identify these types of issues.’

Residents raised concerns about CCTV showing ambulances making u-turns in Heaton Chapel when they were confronted with traffic-calming plants.

The footage appears to show multiple ambulances flashing blue lights being made to turn around by the force of gravity since September 10, 2010.

According to locals, they had to provide directions for confused emergency workers that were confronted by roadblocks.

The review comes after residents flagged CCTV of ambulances appearing to do u-turns when confronted by traffic-calming planters in Heaton Chapel

After residents raised CCTV footage of ambulances turning around when faced with traffic-calming planters at Heaton Chapel, the review was initiated.

Locals were outraged and repeatedly raised the matter to council officials, claiming that the “overkill” planters caused emergency vehicles to take up to four minutes to arrive late. This could ultimately lead to deaths.

In a September 28 letter, residents received a notice from the Council Transport chiefs rebutting the claim that the planters caused delays for ambulances.

NWAS claims that the incident captured on video was indeed delayed as ambulances were forced to negotiate around road closures.

Stockport Council stated that safety is of ‘prime importance’. They are currently investigating the matter. The ‘trial scheme’ will remain in effect until December, before the next-year consultation.

Alison Stafford Bennett-Bentley stated that she felt sorry to paramedics trapped by roadblockers. However, she also acknowledged being frustrated by the misleading letter.

Alison, 55, said: ‘[Head of Highways and Transportation of Stockport Council]Sue Stevenson sent this note saying that ambulance delays are “misinformation”. This was what I confronted her at a drop in at school in October.

“She replied that she had never meant to mislead it.” I asked her if she wanted me to send you the letter. Because she was certain I was correct, she just turned her head.

“It really bothers me when they tell me that this is misinformation. 

“How would they feel if an ambulance was waiting to pick them up from their family because the road was being diverted?”

Council transport chiefs had firmly rebuked the idea of the planters causing ambulance delays and branded the claims 'misinformation' in a letter sent to residents on September 28.

In a letter to residents, the Council Transport chiefs had strongly rebuffed the claim that the planters caused delays for ambulances.

“The scheme began on September 10, and we have had eight delays since that time, according to my knowledge.

“But people are telling me of other delays, so it’s probably about ten or twelve. That’s more than one per day.”

Alison claims that she approached an ambulance driver near her home on November 2, and discovered they didn’t know about the new road.

Alison shared the following: “I feel sorry for these paramedics because they said they don’t know anything about the planters and the scheme.”

Concerned campaigner Helen Jones, 49, has spoken out against the scheme as she believes there are delays occurring but they are not being logged

Helen Jones, a 49-year-old activist, has voiced concern about the scheme. She believes that there are delays, but these are not being recorded.

“They said they wanted to go onto Bollington Road and that I would tell them how to do it. “Have you been informed?” I inquired. Is this something you don’t know?’.

“They replied, “no”. “It is absolutely absurd, we are driving up and down these streets and can’t get to where we need it,” they added.

“It’s just terrible. The filters are preventing them from reaching an emergency they require as soon as possible.

“I had asked them to inform me. These men are hard at work, and their job is to save lives.

“At end of day, the last thing that they might be thinking about is ‘we have to file paperwork. So I can understand it. This is difficult for them.

“We are told the Ambulance Drivers have been told the Scheme, but they don’t,” he said.

“It would have to be fatal for someone to bring this up and do something about it,” he said.

Helen Jones, a 49-year-old activist, has voiced concern about the scheme because she feels there are delays but that they aren’t being logged.

Helen commented, “With all of this footage there is no way these ambulances haven’t been delayed.”

“I suspect the council saw this footage. They are aware. It’s all over Facebook so the councillors know they have seen it.

“We don’t get anywhere, even though there is video footage.” It is impossible for me to believe it could be denied.

Helen asserts that many residents opposed the implementation of the scheme showed up at meetings about it.

Alison even claims to have approached an ambulance driving near her house on November 2 and says she found they were unaware of the new road scheme.

Alison claims that she approached an ambulance driver near her home on November 2, and discovered they didn’t know about the new road.

Helen claims that most residents who showed up to a meeting about the scheme were against its implementation

Helen claimed that many residents opposed the implementation of the scheme showed up at meetings about it.

Stockport Council spokesperson said that they were aware of complaints from local residents about ambulances passing through the neighbourhood.

“We have been in contact with the North West Ambulance Service every step of the way since the trial began.

“We were assured by NWAS that the mod filters had not affected their crews.

“Following the NWAS’s letter to residents about crew delays, Transport for Greater Manchester as well as Transport for Greater Manchester urgently await the details of the NWAS operations team. This will allow us to understand what the crews experienced while traversing the area.

The safety of residents is of the utmost importance to this council.

“With the trial scheme ending in December, the consultation for a permanent plan will be held in the early 2022.