Road safety fears at new Shrewsbury ambulance hub

Shrewsbury's new £1.2 million ambulance station – which is close to two secondary schools in the town – will pose a safety risk for hundreds of children crossing a busy main road, residents claimed today.

Road safety fears at new Shrewsbury ambulance hub

They believe ambulances leaving West Midlands Ambulance Service's proposed hub at Abella Business Centre, off Longden Road, at peak times will pose a danger for hundreds of students on their way to or from Meole Brace and Priory secondary schools.

People living nearby have also raised fears about access to the new ambulance station and have called for the plans to be dropped.

Officials at West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust have submitted plans to Shropshire Council for the new 12,500 sq ft ambulance station hub and have claimed if the proposals are refused it would be a setback for their plans.

Dr Robert Findlay said the planning application should be refused and the ambulance service asked to choose a 'safer' site.

He said: "All emergency ambulances from the hub would need to pass both the Meole Brace and Priory secondary schools.

"At the start and end of the school day that part of Longden Road is extremely busy, with 2,000 children and very heavy school traffic in the area, and hundreds of children crossing the road.

"Emergency ambulances under time pressure would pose a risk to those children, and the congestion would slow the ambulances down The proposed ambulance station is therefore poorly located with respect to safety."

Dr Findlay added: "Longden Road is the only radial road that does not have a junction with the bypass.

"Emergency ambulances from the hub would therefore have to re-enter the 30mph limit and fight through suburban traffic, even just to reach the major road network."

Chris Kowalik, a spokesman for WMAS, said: "Wherever you go you are going to have houses, schools and shops nearby but all our drivers are given the highest level of ambulance training and issues such as these are always taken into consideration.

"We identified this hub after a lot of searching and if we don't get to turn this into an ambulance station it will set back our plans."

By David Seadon

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