Bus gate drama prompts council to ask questions

The bus gate
The bus gate
Chirk Aqueduct and railway viaduct.

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AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into why an ambulance that was rushing to the aid of a two-year-old could not get through bollards at a controversial bus gate.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward has written to the chief executive of the South Coast Ambulance Service to demand answers as to why the incident happened.

The bus gate at Yew Tree Drive in Whiteley only allows access to vehicles with a transponder and has been a controversial issue for residents.

A petition of over 2,000 names was handed in to the council calling for the bollards to be permanently lowered and the council is conducting a survey to see if the residents agree with a six-month trial.

Cllr Woodward has raised concerns over why the ambulance’s satnav system directed the vehicle to the bus gate, why the ambulance was not carrying a transponder and why the crew did not call the emergency telephone number.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Until I get those answers, as a precaution, I have requested that the bollards are lowered until we receive suitable reassurances from the South Coast Ambulance Service that the procedures we were assured were in place are in fact implemented.’

He said that the emergency service were asked how many transponders they required, to which they received requested and received 60.

A telephone number has also been provided which could remotely lower the bollards, although according to the ambulance service this number is only available in the day time.

A spokesman for the South Coast Ambulance Service said that it had reprogrammed all satnav systems so that only ambulances carrying transponders are directed to the gate.

He said: ‘We apologise for the delay in getting to the patient and we are working closely with the council to ensure that this does not occur again.’

Cllr Woodward said that the bollards would be down until he receives a response from the ambulance service.