Opinion split over new ambulance station location

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News that Burnley is to have a new ambulance station in a different location has split opinion in the town.

The Burnley Express revealed last week that North West Ambulance Service had submitted an application to create a new ambulance station at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

The station would replace the current one in Dent Row, Trafalgar Street, near to the town centre.

But the news has received a mixed response from the public, some of whom would like to see it remain in its current location, with some happy that it will be based at the hospital.

One concerned Burnley mother, driving instructor Yvonne Lewis, contacted the Express to say her son would probably not be alive if the station was not where it is now.

She said: “My son was hit by a drink driver in July 2016 right across from where the ambulance station is now and probably wouldn’t be alive today if it hadn’t been there.

“He had a brain injury, chest injury, broken legs and a broken arm and the time it would have taken to get from Burnley General it would probably have been too late to save him.

“I think that if it is moved it should be more central to the town centre so that people are approximately the same distance away so that they receive a quick response and excellent service.

“It is difficult for ambulances to get to Burnley General coming up Colne Road as it is always clogged up with traffic so it would be the same going the opposite way.

“I know what the traffic is like in that area as I am a driving instructor and it is busy all day long.

“Would it not be better to upgrade the existing site and also have another site for the opposite end of town so response times could be quicker.

“Surely this would be better than spending more money on a brand new building when funds could be used to upgrade the existing site.”

However, Burnley grandmother Carol Sledding, welcomed the proposed new location.

She said: “At long last common sense is prevailing. To use the spare land surrounding Burnley General Hospital to house a desperately needed ambulance station is the best news to come from our local NHS in many a year.

“As someone whose life was saved by an ambulance crew based in Altham, who had to make the albeit vital minutes journey to Burnley, I can only applaud the outstanding, completely professional care these dedicated personnel always give. So anything that can be done to make their job slightly easier must be applauded.”

Plans have been submitted to create a new ambulance station and associated car parking including 10 ambulance bays, nine patient transport service bays, two fast response vehicle bays and a cycle store.

The provision of two new surface car parking areas; one for 50 ambulance staff parking and one for 57 hospital staff parking (36 of which have been relocated for the ambulance staff parking).

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The new Ambulance Station document describes the need for the new Satellite Station for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust to address the demand on the service over recent years, modernise staff facilities and enable a more efficient resource hub located directly adjacent to the hospital.”

If passed, the station, which would be located on the site of demolised buildings in the Briercliffe Road side of the hospital, would replace the existing station in Burnley town centre.

“The station would be a dark box with bright splashes of colour.”